Is South Carolina a Have?
Steve Spurrier said so Sunday, and as strange as it is to wrap the mind around, he’s right. The context was Spurrier’s tenure with the Gamecocks and his insistence that he never had any plans to use the job as a stepping stone to “one of those jobs that has more advantages than this one used to have.”
“Now this one has the advantages,” Spurrier said. “It’s clear now with the facility upgrades and our track record, we have turned into a school with some advantages.”
The Gamecocks athletic department pulled in $90.5 million in revenue last year, according to USA Today’s annual analysis of college athletics budgets, putting them 25th in the country in bank account bragging rights. While that number doesn’t put them in the top half of the cash-flush SEC in revenue, it’s still enough to qualify South Carolina for Have status. See Spurrier’s salary ($4 million annually) and the upcoming construction of an indoor practice facility ($14 million) as the most recent proof of that.
What’s the difference between just being a team that is having a great run in the Top 25 and being a real Have? The future. When Spurrier took the South Carolina job in 2005, the athletic department revenue was $46.3 million and the Gamecocks head coaching job was not the destination it is now. When Spurrier leaves, South Carolina will be able to leverage its newfound position, giving it a better chance of continuing the success of the last four seasons.
“It took a few years to get where we are, but that doesn’t mean we have it made,” Spurrier said. “We could fall flat on our face this year if we don’t watch it, but I really think this is a team that will prepare to play the best they can each year.”
Around the SEC:
If you didn’t see the pictures of Alabama fans lined up more than 100 yards for Nick Saban’s autograph, you should take a look here.
Like South Carolina, Florida held its media day Sunday. Unlike the Gamecocks, the Gators spent most of the day talking about turning the page from last year’s 4-8 season. “I'd say it's in the sideview mirror,” senior linebacker Michael Taylor told the Gainesville Sun. “You want to have that memory. You want to be able to go back there and know what you did wrong so you can learn from it. You get stronger from it.” At least, that’s the hope.
Texas A&M’s new locker room is as over the top as you would expect from one of the richest school’s in the SEC arms race. Here’s a video of the some of the Aggies seeing their new digs for the first time. Think: TVs in all the bathroom mirrors, barber shop, etc.
UGA’s Mark Richt became the second coach in the last week to acknowledge dropping a recruit from his team’s list due to inappropriate behavior on social media such as Facebook and Twitter. For the record, Steve Spurrier said Sunday he doesn’t look at his players’ or recruits’ social media, but the Gamecocks have a staff member who does on a daily basis.