USC Gamecocks Football

Spurrier honors university’s decision not to admit Joe Blue

Joe Blue of Dillon High in the Shrine Bowl of the Carolinas
Joe Blue of Dillon High in the Shrine Bowl of the Carolinas dmclemore@thestate.com

Fullback Joe Blue, South Carolina’s first commitment of the 2014 recruiting class, did not gain admission to school on Wednesday when his last appeal was denied. Blue apparently passed the NCAA Clearinghouse but did not pass USC’s admissions board.

Coach Steve Spurrier said it was a university decision.

“The university doesn’t tell us how to run the football program, and that’s their decision, who gets into school and who doesn’t,” Spurrier said. “We honor their decision and move on.”

In 2007, Spurrier was so irate that recruits Michael Bowman and Arkee Smith didn’t get admitted to USC that he threatened to leave. “As long as I’m the coach here, we’re going to take guys that qualify,” he said then. “If not, then I have to go somewhere else because I can’t tell a young man, ‘You’re coming to school here,’ he qualifies, and not do that. And we did that this year.”

Like Blue, Bowman and Smith passed the NCAA Clearinghouse but did not pass USC’s admissions board. Spurrier was asked about that case on Thursday.

“I guess this is the first time it’s happened since then, huh?” he said. “They’ve been pretty gracious to us all the other times. It was a decision that they made. Joe barely well, he qualified. I guess that’s like being barely pregnant, isn’t it? You’re either in or you’re out.

“You’ll have to ask our admissions about that. We got the best president in the country. I don’t ever question anything President (Harris) Pastides is in charge of.”

Blue’s high-school coach, Dillon’s Jackie Hayes, said that Blue would pick another school by Thursday. Maryland, East Carolina, Coastal Carolina and S.C. State are candidates.

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