DESTIN, Fla. – South Carolina coach Steve Spurrier said he was battling laryngitis so he had to speak softly. His message, though, was loud and clear: football players should receive financial compensation.
At Wednesday’s SEC spring meetings, Spurrier presented a proposal that league coaches – out of their own pockets – provide $300 a game to its players. The money would be for game expenses.
“They can give to their parents for travel, lodging, meals,” Spurrier said. “Maybe they could take their girlfriends out Saturday night and so forth.”
Spurrier said six other coaches signed his proposal: Alabama’s Nick Saban, Florida’s Will Muschamp, Ole Miss’ Houston Nutt, Mississippi State’s Dan Mullen, LSU’s Les Miles and Tennessee’s Derek Dooley.
“A bunch of us coaches felt so strongly about it we would be willing to pay 70 guys 300 bucks a game,” Spurrier said. “That’s only $21,000 a game. I doubt it will get passed, but as the coaches in the SEC we make all the money as do the universities with television [deals]. And we need to give more to our players. That was something we need to get out there.”
The five coaches who didn’t sign Spurrier’s proposal: Arkansas’ Bobby Petrino, Auburn’s Gene Chizik, Georgia’s Mark Richt, Kentucky’s Joker Phillips and Vanderbilt’s James Franklin.
"I told the other coaches Im going to tell the media what coaches wouldn't sign," Spurrier said.
SEC commissioner Mike Slive said it was doubtful Spurrier’s proposal could ever get passed.
"I don't think [it would pass],” Slive said. “It was a gesture by Steve, thinking about student athlete welfare.”
Spurrier said he’s felt this way for years, especially how much money is made in college athletics by the universities and coaches.
“I just wish there was a way to give our players a little bit piece of the pie,” Spurrier said. “It’s so huge right now. As you know 50 years ago there was not any kind of money and the players got full scholarships. Now they’re still getting full scholarships and the money in the millions.
“I don’t know how to get it done. Hopefully there’s a way to get our guys that play football, a little piece of the pie. The coaches make so much, we ‘d be willing to pay it so there’s no additional expense to the university or anybody.”