When the Head Ball Coach’s oratory lapsed into coachspeak and his rewind button went into high gear on the videotape, the 700 women gathered in the Colonial Center couldn’t help snickering.
Steve Spurrier played host to his fourth Ladies Clinic, a tradition began by Sparky Woods in the early 1990s. He brought his coaching staff and a few players along for the ride.
Amid the fanfare, the lectures and the autograph sessions, a good time was had by all.
For offensive lineman Heath Batchelor, the irony of his last name in this particular setting was not lost upon him.
“I had heard it was fun from Chris (Smelley) and some of the guys who did it last year,” said Batchelor who posed for a steady stream of photos while signing autographs.
“I had a lady who looked just like my mom come up to me a minute ago and call me ‘Precious.’”
Lineman Kyle Nunn also volunteered for duty based on what last year’s participants said.
“I just want to know how early they got up this morning,” Nunn said. “It’s good to see how good the fans are. They all want to meet us.”
Becky Sturm was attending her first Ladies Clinic. She said she and her husband Richard — a former USC swimmer — seldom miss a game despite moving all around the state in the years since they graduated.
She was at the Colonial Center on Saturday with a couple of girlfriends.
“I just want to learn the good ol’ fundamentals,” she said.
The day began with the lengthy autograph sessions before introductions and instruction. Spurrier and newly minted starting quarterback Tommy Beecher seemed to attract the most attention.
“Did anyone NOT get an autograph?” Spurrier asked upon reaching the podium.
As always, the day’s events were highlighted by the smoke run-through at Williams-Brice Stadium while the music of “2001: A Space Odyssey” blared over the sound system.
Spurrier said next year’s clinic would be held a week after the spring game.
“Hopefully, we’ll have a little more to celebrate next year,” he said.
Reach Obley at (803) 771-8473.