Steve Spurrier's Genius Plan to Pay Players is an Epic Fail

Jordan ClarkeContributor IIIJune 2, 2011

The Ol' Ball Coach has a lot of great ideas. Paying players however, is not one of them.
The Ol' Ball Coach has a lot of great ideas. Paying players however, is not one of them.Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

It’s nice to see that the slavedriving coaches of SEC football are finally taking a stand against the inequities in collegiate sports. We’ve all seen our share of mediocre plans, but this recent stunt reads more like a group of coaches looking to give a morale boost to their teams before a long summer of practice.

Wednesday, at the SEC meetings in Destin, FL, Steve Spurrier, head ball coach at the University of South Carolina, proposed that coaches pay scholarship players $300 per game out of their own pockets. The money, Spurrier said, would be for game expenses, including travel for parents, lodging, meals and taking girlfriends out on Saturday night.

Spurrier wasn’t the only one who signed the proposal. He was backed by Alabama's Nick Saban, Florida's Will Muschamp, Ole Miss' Houston Nutt, Mississippi State's Dan Mullen, LSU's Les Miles and Tennessee's Derek Dooley.

Spurrier went on to add:

"A bunch of us coaches felt so strongly about it we would be willing to pay 70 guys 300 bucks a game, That's only $21,000 a game. I doubt it will get passed, but as the coaches in the SEC we make all the money as do the universities with television [deals]. And we need to give more to our players. That was something we need to get out there."

Spurrier’s math skills are impeccable. You should feel strongly about it Steve; I mean, you’re earning 2.2 million dollars a year in a conference in which football is king. But my question is this: Do you really think the average golf, track, swimming or equestrian coach would be able to afford giving a stipend to players? Maybe you should contribute the initial pot the money you basically fleeced from the Redskins—that is, if you’re still not paying for Danny Wuerffel’s medical bills.

Pay players? Cry me a river. Players are already being paid. Some, like Terrell Pryor, are actually going overboard, getting more benefits and rubbing it in our face. What would be the going rate for a Terrelle Pryor nowadays? Same as a Kirt Herbstreet? Here’s what most Division I football packages include:

Annual renewable scholarships

Housing allowances

Meal plans or meal allowances

Book allowances

Early registration for premium classes

Some of the best trainers in the world


Tutoring assistance


The benefit of the doubt from the law

Exposure on television networks

And if you’re better than average, you also get some name recognition that will likely get you bumped ahead of other students in a resume line.

Look, we know the NCAA and universities are making billions off student-athletes, but student-athletes have access to four-year paid college education in addition to all of the above. In some states, this education approaches almost six figures. The average college student has loans, is delivering pizza’s using mom’s Astrovan and on off weekends is selling blood for date money.

Steve, let’s try working on that 60 percent graduation rate for South Carolina’s football program, which by the way is in the middle of the pack in the SEC.  If you can raise that to maybe 85%, then we can nominate you for the Nobel Peace Prize and let you cure cancer.

Universities and coaches are pimps; athletes are prostitutes. Calling it anything other than that is just shameless.