Steve Spurrier has a way with words.
Only a week after his backup quarterback Tanner McEvoy was charged with speeding and driving after consuming alcohol, the Ol’ Ball Coach reinstated his quarterback.
Spurrier confirmed the return of his backup quarterback:
“Tanner’s back. He’s been approved to come back to the team. Do you know what he got arrested for? He told me … I think South Carolina doesn’t have that law. North Carolina has that law (about underage people not being allowed to drink any alcohol at all before driving). He got arrested for it, and he’ll pay his fine. You want him suspended for having a beer and he’s underage? How many football players would be playing if they had a beer and they were underage? But anyway, go talk to coach Tanner (athletic director Ray Tanner) about that, if we’re going to suspend him, OK? I’m not going to suspend him for that, all right? But I don’t know if he’s going to play anyway.”
McEvoy isn’t going to be on the field, so this doesn’t have major ramifications for the Gamecocks, but it is an interesting story nonetheless.
As most schools are trending towards stricter penalties for athletes and their run-ins with the law, Spurrier seems to be bucking the trend here. The philosophy of “he was arrested and will pay his fine” is quite rare in college football today.
I tend to think Spurrier is right in this situation. While playing football for a school like South Carolina is a privilege, schools should relax a bit about off-the-field behavior. If it weren’t for 24/7 media and Twitter, the public wouldn’t know about the majority of the incidents that occur today.
Lastly, how can you not love Spurrier? There likely isn’t a coach in the land who speaks with more candor than the Ol’ Ball Coach.