After Friday’s announcement of Steve Spurrier’s raise – and a nice size raise at that – there clearly is a segment of the fan base that is concerned about why Spurrier didn’t also receive an extension.
South Carolina’s football coach now has a deal that will pay him more than $2.5 million this year, more than $2.8 million next year and more than $2.9 million in 2013. What happens after that, no one really knows. That’s because Spurrier did not seek a contract extension, athletics director Eric Hyman said.
It’s customary for coaches to keep four years on their deals for recruiting purposes if nothing else. It’s easier to convince recruits you’ll be there all four years of their career if there are four years left on your deal rather than three, but Spurrier clearly isn’t worried about that.
And that worries some Gamecock fans. That’s understandable. Spurrier has taken the program to heights it has rarely seen, and no one in garnet and black wants him to leave anytime soon.
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Spurrier turns 66 next week but doesn’t feel it, he said Saturday.
“I believe my health and fitness levels are better than most 66-year-olds,” he said. “At this point, I really, really want to coach three more years and possibly four or five more.”
However, this is all vintage Spurrier. He operates on his own timeline and based on his own whims. He told me and almost everybody else who has asked him last year that he wanted to coach four or five more years. He also admitted that that's been his answer to that question for about the last decade.
The truth is, it doesn’t matter if there is one year left on his deal or seven, he will leave when he wants to leave.
No one at Carolina will push him out. The decision is all Spurrier’s. He may be thinking today that he wants to retire after the 2013 season. And that might change tomorrow.
If the Gamecocks have a very disappointing season next year, or a conference title season, Spurrier might decide he he’s had enough. He might get to the middle of the 2013 season and decide he’s got another four or five years left in him.
My point is, if you’re worrying about 2013, don’t - because Spurrier isn’t. That’ll get here soon enough. Worry about 2011 right now.