At a time when allegations of improper benefits have taken down one of college football's most respected coaches in Jim Tressel, you'd think other Leaders of Men wouldn't be so eager to admit to thinking about committing violations. But Steve Spurrier has never been like most coaches.
According to Matt Hayes of the Sporting News, Spurrier says he and six other coaches in the SEC have discussed a plan to pay players $300 per game out of their own pockets.
Spurrier says he's gotten support from Alabama's Nick Saban, LSU's Les Miles, Florida's Will Muschamp, Mississippi State's Dan Mullen, Ole Miss' Houston Nutt and Tennessee's Derek Dooley. He also said that he was willing to narc on coaches who weren't down with the plan.
Not sure if Spurrier has gotten the memo, but paying players is against the rules. If you believe him, his intentions are good. He tells Hayes that he's looking for a "way of giving the players a piece of the pie." Even if South Park has started taking aim at the hypocrisy of the NCAA, this certainly isn't the way to do it.
Aside from the obvious violations of the NCAA's amateurism rules (stop laughing), there are major issues with giving SEC schools a huge advantage in recruiting. That advantage would be polarizing even within the conference. Coaches like Spurrier, Saban and Miles command enough of a salary that they can afford to dish out an allowance to their players. It's hard to imagine that every coach in the conference could do the same.
There's also the issue of Title IX. If football players are going to start receiving a little extra something, you can bet that a lawsuit will be filed immediately on behalf of female athletes in the name of fairness.
Even before contemplating those issues, it's curious why Spurrier would take this moment to bring up such a topic. The NCAA has its antennae up and is sure to give it some attention. Then again, Spurrier has always been pretty good at using the media to get his point out, so there very well could be a method in his madness.