Steve Spurrier still isn’t over the Papajohns.com Bowl.
If you thought six months would be sufficient for Spurrier to get over his team’s lackluster 20-7 loss to UConn in Birmingham, think again.
“Sometimes I’m asked, ticket sales are not quite where we hoped they would be. Well, I say, ‘Our fans remember the UConn game. And I remember the UConn game. And we weren’t very good,’” Spurrier said Wednesday after his annual media golf outing.
“And don’t tell us to forget it because we’re not going to forget it. We’re going to try our best to never ever have a performance like that again.”
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Spurrier isn’t echoing any of the preseason talk about South Carolina being factors in the East this year. He wants the Gamecocks to prove they can contend before he starts crowing about them.
“We’re a different team. We have different leaders, different players. It’s going to be a new team,” he said. “We think our guys will really compete. But until we do it, we’re all just in the process of trying to earn respect – not only of our fans, but fans all over the country. We need to go out and earn it.”
A couple of news items:
–Assistant head coach for defense Ellis Johnson said an NCAA official was on campus several months ago to interview sophomore defensive backs Stephon Gilmore and DeVonte Holloman about their recruitment by USC.
Johnson said the interviews were unrelated to the NCAA’s ongoing probe of agent activity that involves Gamecocks tight end Weslye Saunders.
Johnson recruited Gilmore and Holloman, who were teammates at South Pointe High in Rock Hill. Johnson said the players and their families told him there was nothing in their recruitment that would be of concern.
Johnson said he thought another USC player might have been interviewed, as well.
“It sounded to me like they were quizzed about all their recruiting process, and some different things that went on,” Johnson said. “It happens quite frequently.”
–Backup quarterback Zac Brindise has been granted his scholarship release and is expected to transfer to Western Carolina. Brindise visited the Football Championship Subdivision school in Cullowhee, N.C., on Wednesday, according to his brother, Noah Brindise.
Brindise, who had been passed by freshman Connor Shaw as the backup to starter Stephen Garcia, would join Reid McCollum and Aramis Hillary as the third quarterback to leave the program this offseason.
–Reserve defensive tackle Ronald Byrd also could be on his way out.
“He’s not doing everything he’s supposed to do,” defensive line coach Brad Lawing said of Byrd, a redshirt freshman from LaGrange, Ga., who has yet to take a snap at USC.
–Spurrier had no update on Saunders’ situation; tight ends coach Jeep Hunter said the staff was waiting to hear from the school’s compliance office as to whether Saunders will be able to practice when preseason drills start next week.