Steve Spurrier

Raises, extensions for Spurrier, coaching staff announced

5 Comments

Following up on reports that surfaced Wednesday morning, South Carolina officially confirmed that head coach Steve Spurrier and his entire nine-man coaching staff are on the receiving end of amended contracts that includes both a extensions and raises.

Spurrier’s contract was  extended by one year, meaning the Ol’ Ball Coach is now signed through the 2018 season.  While the press release announcing the new deals did not detail the amount of a raise, it had been previously reported that Spurrier’s total pay would be bumped from $3.3 million to $4 million.

Spurrier recently completed his ninth season with the Gamecocks, finishing the season ranked as the No. 4 team in the country.  That ranking served as the highest in the postseason in the program’s history.

Prior to Spurrier’s arrival in 2005, the Gamecocks had never won 10 or more games in back-to-back seasons; 2013 marked the third straight season USC has won 11 games.

“Our sustained success has put our football program on a level that few others in the country have accomplished,” athletic director Ray Tanner said in a statement. “We are coming off our third-consecutive 11-win season, which represents the greatest era of success in Carolina football history. In addition, our student-athletes are achieving at the highest level – on the field, in the classroom and in the community. With three-straight Top-10 finishes, South Carolina is as good as any program in the country. The contract raises and extensions for Coach Spurrier and his staff are a reflection of that success and are well-deserved.”

Additionally, the release stated that “Coach Spurrier had a clause added to his contract that upon his retirement as head football coach, he would be offered employment by the University as a Special Assistant to the President and the Athletics Director provided he maintains his residence in Columbia and either the current President or the current Athletics Director continue to be employed by the University in their same capacities.”

“Ambassador Spurrier?”  Yep, sign me up.

“My staff and I thoroughly enjoy coaching under the direction of President Pastides and Athletics Director Tanner,” said Spurrier. “We appreciate the attitude of our Board of Trustees in keeping our salaries competitive with the rest of the SEC. We all hope to coach here many more years and we still have some goals that have not been accomplished yet.

“We thank our fans for the outstanding support that we always receive. A special thanks to all the fans that followed our team to Orlando for the big win over Wisconsin that enabled us to finish a school-record No. 4 in the nation.”

As far as the assistants go, Deke Adams, Kirk Botkin, Grady Brown, Shawn Elliott, G.A. Mangus, Joe Robinson, Everette Sands and Steve Spurrier Jr. had their contacts extended through the 2015 season.  Defensive coordinator Lorenzo Ward‘s deal was extended through the 2016 season.

As was the case with Spurrier, the raises received by the assistants were not revealed.

Georgia raises ticket prices following Kirby Smart hire

ATHENS, GA - SEPTEMBER 28: A general view of the Sanford Stadium before the game between the Georgia Bulldogs and the LSU Tigers on September 28, 2013 in Athens, Georgia. (Photo by Scott Cunningham/Getty Images)
Getty Images
Leave a comment

Running a college athletics department is only getting more expensive, so attending a college football game will only get more expensive. Or, at least attending a Georgia game will.

Bulldogs president Jere Morehead and athletics director Greg McGarity revealed Thursday per-seat donations would rise an average of 17 percent for priority season ticket holders beginning in the 2017 season.

“It’s in anticipation of things that are ahead,” McGarity told the Athens Banner-Herald.

Cost-of-attendance scholarships bumped that line item up $766,000, and other costs across the department added an additional $5.3 million to the budget. All this while Georgia is building a new indoor facility and replacing Mark Richt and his staff while hiring Kirby Smart and his new staff.

“Those projects are going to be expensive,” Morehead said. “The cost of operating our athletic program each year continues to rise particularly as you look at the enhancements that are being provided to our student-athletes and to the support that we’re providing our student-athletes.”

The bump in prices will raise an extra $2.5 million for Georgia, and represents the first time Bulldogs fans have been asked to ante up since 2005.

“We wanted to be respectable in the increase to not price people out of a certain area but we did feel like we needed to make an adjustment,” said McGarity. “We want to continue to encourage people to come to games. We’ve got our work cut out to make sure (that happens).”

Ohio State to host Tulane in 2018

COLUMBUS, OH - SEPTEMBER 6:  The Ohio State Buckeyes kickoff to the Virginia Tech Hokies at Ohio Stadium on September 6, 2014 in Columbus, Ohio.  (Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images)
Getty Images
2 Comments

The Fighting Frites are heading to the Horseshoe.

Ohio State and Tulane announced a one-time game to be played in Columbus on Sept. 22, 2018.

“Tulane enhances and completes a non-conference schedule in 2018 that already includes Power 5 conference teams TCU and Oregon State,” Ohio State deputy AD Martin Jarmond said in a statement. “The Green Wave is part of a fine American Athletic Conference, which produced a New Year’s Day 6 bowl winner last year [Houston over Florida State in the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl], so its first trip to Ohio Stadium should be exciting for our students and fans.”

The two teams have never met previously. Tulane last faced a Big Ten team on Sept. 27, 2014, a 31-6 loss at Rutgers. Ohio State last faced an American Athletic Conference program in the 2014 opener, a 34-17 Buckeyes win over Navy in Annapolis, Md.

We are excited for the opportunity to play Ohio State, one of the premier programs in the country,” Tulane executive associate athletics director Brandon Macneill said in a statement.  “Our coaching staff and players, along with our fans are eager to play against the very best and this should be a great game.  There will be a significant number of Tulanians from around the country joining us at the Horseshoe.”

Adding Tulane completes Ohio State’s 2018 non-conference schedule; the Buckeyes host Oregon State on Sept. 1 and visit TCU on Sept. 15. Tulane still lacks two games for 2018 but is slated to visit Georgia Tech on Sept. 8.

Georgia AD apologizes for giving Ludacris everything he demanded for spring game concert

Greg McGarity
5 Comments

The University of Georgia paid Ludacris $65,000 to perform a concert at Georgia’s spring football game, and now the athletics director is apologizing for catering to every demand made by the artist.

In a meeting with the Georgia athletic board of directors, athletics director Greg McGarity offered an apology for giving in to a lengthy list of demands from Ludacris, which included condoms and alcohol.

“I do want to take this opportunity to apologize to our board for mistakes we made with certain aspects of the details of an entertainment agreement,” McGarity said, according to The Athens Banner-Herald. “Few things in my professional life have bothered me more than this situation. There are no reruns in life so we need to turn the page, learn from our mistakes and do everything we can to make sure errors of this nature do not reoccur.”

Georgia set a school attendance record for its spring game with an estimated total of 93,000 fans coming out for the first spring game under new head coach Kirby Smart. Of course, more than a few of those fans were encouraged to come out to see Ludacris perform, so it all worked out well for Georgia even if some people were not happy with the goods supplied to him during his stay.

“Some more than others as far as different age groups,” McGarrity said of the people expressing their displeasure with Georgia’s hospitality. “It was all over the map. I think there were a lot of things that came into play.”

Auburn RB Roc Thomas apparently heading to Jacksonville State

AUBURN, AL - SEPTEMBER 6: Running back Roc Thomas #9 of the Auburn Tigers runs the ball in for a touchdown as offensive linesman Jordan Diamond #76 of the Auburn Tigers blocks safety Forrest Hightower #12 of the San Jose State Spartans on September 6, 2014 at Jordan-Hare Stadium in Auburn, Alabama. Auburn defeated San Jose State 59-13.  (Photo by Michael Chang/Getty Images)
Photo by Michael Chang/Getty Images
Leave a comment

Auburn running back Roc Thomas is possibly looking to join one of the top programs from the FCS ranks. Reports today surfaced suggesting Thomas is looking to transfer to Jacksonville State, although another report says he has yet to ask Auburn for a request to transfer.

During a radio interview, Jay G. Tate of AuburnSports.com said Thomas is likely on his way to Jacksonville State…

As that message was spreading around the college football landscape, largely under the ominous storm cloud from Waco, Texas, SEC Country updated their report by saying Thomas has not yet made a request to transfer from Auburn. That may have been accurate, but may not suggest a transfer to Jacksonville State is off the table. It could just be a matter of semantics, where Thomas is set to join the Jacksonville State program but still must go through the formalities of transferring from Auburn.

Thomas does have two years of eligibility remaining.