Steve Spurrier shocked the college football world Tuesday, resigning from South Carolina after a disappointing 2-4 start to the season.
Spurrier, the all-time wins leader at both Florida and South Carolina, is the second-winningest coach in SEC history. He also led the Gamecocks to three consecutive 11-win seasons from 2011 to 2013.
But after going 9-10 over the last year-and-a-half, Spurrier felt it was time to walk away.
Does that make him a quitter?
“Well anytime you quit, that’s what it is: you quit,” longtime NFL defensive back and current CBS Sports Network college football analyst Corey Chavous said on CBS Sports Radio’s Gio and Jones, laughing. “I’m not going to sit up here and try to reason or examine what the word means. But I think ultimately he was tired. I thought it came down to (being) tired of the quarterback situation. I felt like he didn’t believe he had anybody he could win with there. And (based on) my experience (with) him (in) the past, if he doesn’t have a quarterback, he’s frustrated – because he was a quarterback. I think that’s really what it came down to. There’s a lot of peripheral stuff you could probably talk about, but I think that’s the biggest thing.”
Brian Jones, however, feels the peripheral stuff – not to mention the quarterback stuff – is unimportant. To him, Spurrier quit. Coaches always tell players not to give up, not to quit. And Spurrier – who won the Heisman Trophy as a player and a national championship as a coach – quit on his team. He should have stuck it out and stayed at South Carolina through end of the season, no?
“I agree with you,” Chavous said. “The thing that kind of surprises me about the whole press conference – he made it clear that he wasn’t retiring. So even though you are walking out on them, you’re not walking out on coaching, which leaves a lot of open thoughts about what his next move potentially could be. You never know. But yeah, it’s surprising that he made that clear that he was not retiring.”
While Spurrier resigned on his own accord, Steve Sarkisian wasn’t so lucky. USC – Southern Cal, not South Carolina – fired the 41-year-old Monday following a series of alleged alcohol-related incidents.
“I just kind of felt like that was going to happen,” Chavous said. “I thought (after the booster incident) in August (that) if you were going to do something, you probably would have went ahead and made the move then to maybe have the leave of absence take place then.”
Instead, USC athletic director Pat Haden stuck with Sarkisian – at least until he started 3-2 and lost back-to-back home games. Chavous would have preferred the leave of absence occur in August. Perhaps Sarkisian could have dealt with his demons then and still have a job. Plus, the Trojans had a capable replacement in the ranks.
“When you got a coordinator like (Clay) Helton who has won a bowl game for you in a situation where you’ve been in that before, you kind of know you got somebody in place,” Chavous said. “It wasn’t like you hand’t gone through those waters before. So I think (Haden) could have handled the situation differently in August.”