Spurrier supports playoffs and ‘pay for play’ initiative
by RICHARD ROBERTS Banner Sports Editor
Jun 18, 2014 | 614 views | 0 0 comments | 10 10 recommendations | email to a friend | print

south carolina gamecocks head football coach Steve Spurrier said he believes NCAA athletes should be paid. He is also glad to see a playoff system finally reach the NCAA. Spurrier spoke Saturday to the Bradley Sunrise Rotary at the Museum Center at Five Points. Banner photo, richard roberts
south carolina gamecocks head football coach Steve Spurrier said he believes NCAA athletes should be paid. He is also glad to see a playoff system finally reach the NCAA. Spurrier spoke Saturday to the Bradley Sunrise Rotary at the Museum Center at Five Points. Banner photo, richard roberts
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College football playoffs and “pay for play” to NCAA athletes has been a hot topic for some time. With the recent decision to have a four team playoff, South Carolina head football coach Steve Spurrier said Saturday he is in favor of a stipend for athletes.

Beginning with the 2014-15 season, college football will enter a new era with a simple playoff format. The top four teams will play two semifinals, contested in bowl games. Each semifinal will be played during the New Year's holiday with the national championship game in prime time on a Monday night at least a week later. A national championship game will be played in a different city each year.

“I think four teams is better than two. We’ve had two (teams) the last several years. The four team playoff will give a couple more teams an opportunity to get in the hunt. And I think it will create tremendously excited and highly rated television audiences for those two games,” said the Gamecocks’ coach. “I think it’s real good for college football.”

As far as a pay system for players, that has yet to become a reality — at least in the legal sense. If and when the NCAA does decide to pay players, or if and when the five major conferences break away from the NCAA and strike out on their own with their own set of rules, Spurrier leaned in favor of football and basketball players receiving more in the form of payment since those two sports bring in the most money.

“The next thing we need to do is give our athletes some expense money. College football players and college basketball players should get a little bit more (money). They bring the billions of dollars that we all (conferences) enjoy and I wish the NCAA would do something. There has been talk of the five major conference separating and doing a little bit for our athletes. But so far it’s just been talk. Hopefully it will come to fruition some day,” said The Ol’ Ball Coach.

“It will certainly give the five major conferences a little edge up. But certainly those conferences are in position to give some expense money to their athletes. I think they are talking about giving all their athletes the same amount. I’m of the opinion all the athletes come from different backgrounds and they have different needs. I really believe that college football and college men’s basketball players are mostly athletes that come from little bit difficult backgrounds, and their parents could use some expense money to travel to games [and for] hotel, gas, meals and so forth. Of course I’ve been preaching that for three or four years and we’ll wait and see if anything occurs or not.”

Speaking of who will preplace departed SC quarterback Connor Shaw in 2014, Spurrier said he will put the ball in the hands of fifth year senior Dylan Thompson who has seen limited action behind starter Shaw. But when his number was called Thompson came through with flying colors, leading the Gamecocks to the only loss of the season for Central Florida.

“Our quarterback this year is Dylan Thompson. He’s been there five years and he’s going to cram his career basically into this one season. He’s ready to go. The guys are on campus this summer working out, throwing the ball around and so forth,” said the coach.

“Dylan’s played I think about four games in his career. He actually went in, in the first quarter and led us to victory over Central Florida this past year; it was the only game they lost. Dylan has played very well the times he’s been in there. He had a big win over Clemson a couple of years ago and had filled in admirably when Connor Shaw has been hurt. Connor has been hurt a few times, not much. We’ve got a lot of confidence in Dylan; Dylan will play well this year.”