November 28, 2015

Steve Spurrier is ticked off at Ron Morris again

Why you all mad, Steve?

Another year and another Steve Spurrier feud with the media. Last year Spurrier made national headlines for refusing to talk when State newspaper columnist Ron Morris was in the room. That policy lasted all of about a week. Now Spurrier is refusing to take questions from anyone in the press room for the same reason: he doesn’t like Ron Morris.

This would be the equivalent of refusing to talk to any of your friends because you are upset with one of them, or ignoring everyone at your office because you are mad at the guy in the cubicle next to you.

Spurrier was chipper after the Gamecocks win over Missouri Saturday, but left the podium without taking questions after about a three minute opening statement. No one made too much of it. But Sunday when he did the same thing on his Sunday teleconference, people realized Spurrier was upset and trying to make some sort of point. He was clearly upset about something or someone.

Well, we have learned that something or someone is once again Morris. Spurrier’s latest beef stems from Morris’ piece last week questioning Spurrier for playing Connor Shaw against UAB. Morris, like a lot of people, was skeptical about Shaw’s health going into the Mizzou game. Obviously, Shaw put those questions to bed with his performance Saturday, but that doesn’t mean the skepticism wasn’t without merit.

Spurrier and Morris used to be close enough that they called each other’s cell phones. Now they don’t speak. But now Spurrier is paranoid that Morris is planting questions with others in the media. His solution is not to take questions from anyone in the press, based on the chance it could be coming from the person he doesn’t like.

This isn’t about defending Morris or the media, this is about defending the role of credentialed reporters asking questions and gathering information and being able to freely share their opinions without being cut off. But these days if you don’t cheerlead you are considered a threat. These days it is getting harder and harder to tell the reporters from the fans. Nowadays it isn’t uncommon for someone wearing Gamecock apparel to ask questions at a press gathering. It also isn’t uncommon for a USC employee to ask a question at a press gathering. It’s like this almost everywhere now. Furthermore, those who dare question what a coach or school spoon feeds them get accused of having an agenda and being biased.

No coach is beyond reproach. Remember Joe Paterno? Whatever your stance is on the Penn State case, it is a reminder of how important it is to have a skeptical media and how severe the consequences can be when that doesn’t happen.

Spurrier has every right to take issue with, deny, or defend anything he believes is unfair. He has a platform to do that. But this notion of shutting down anyone and everyone who dares question you is flat wrong.


Print pagePDF pageEmail page


  1. “These days it is getting harder and harder to tell the reporters from the fans.” Many places there is no difference. One is in this state.

  2. Who does Spurrier think he is, President Obama?

  3. The problem I have with commentators like Morris (and he’s not the only one) is that they seem to try to write their opinions as if fact. It is a subtle difference in phrasing but makes a huge difference in meaning. I may be wrong, but I don’t think Spurrier has a problem with opposing opinions but to seem to state as a matter of fact Spurrier is wrong is going to far.

  4. Morris questioned the HBC’s motives about playing a player hurt just for the sake of winning a game. STUPID move! Everyone with a brain knows he would not do that! After reading that article I wondered if there would be a reaction. If you media people don’t like it, get Morris out of there or get another assignment.

  5. the state news paper, need to close down and get out of town. G O GAMECOCKS.

  6. Are you kidding me? South Carolina “spoon feeds” press…Dabo is no coach, he is a PR person.
    Are we to believe Dabo was arbitrarily asked about HBC’ s comments that prompted his anti USC rant last December? Is Larry Williams that objective ? Has all the daylight between Veneable & Dabo been explored. Why does the AJC have to be the one to find out about Grayson scandal?

    As far as Coach Spurrier….it is one thing not to be a cheerleader, it is quite another to speculate about ethical issues that do not exist. Guess who insinuated to Morris about poaching?…Eric Hyman….same guy who iced you and Corey Miller from USC’s previous basketball coach’s last season ending presser.
    There is a new day at USC with a new AD…..PK is a professional who calls em as he sees …..if all were like you Phil, no issues. I can guarantee that when it comes to SEC suits that selectively enforce decisions contrary to USC’s interests without merit ….press who have consistently misrepresented issues of personal integrity….will NOT go unchallenged. It’s a new day at the “Roundhose”… good….honest reporters like yourself need not worry!!

  7. I have made my living and earned a fair share if awards practcticing the craft of journalism. Wjat Morris does bears little resemblance to that craft.
    If your contention is that it is wrong for the fans disguised as journalists to get access, week, why should the reverse of a fan, a guy who constantly tries to tear down your program, get ANY access? Fair is fair. I am sure that athe State thinks that people read that rag because of Morris, but I think there is a captive audience, and Morris occasionally sells them a cop,e of extra papers.
    That said, I do not like the idea of real reporters getting cut off because of Morris. USC should yank his credential. If he wants to cover USC, let him buy a ticket. The State I think cannot be denied access. But I think it is reasonable to think that USC can deny access to a specific reporter if it wants to, if that reporter lies and is unppfair. Morris has lied in print about USC. During the Holtz years for certain and he is beyond unfair.

  8. Country Boy says:

    “Remember Joe Paterno?”

    I heard you make that comment on your radio show tonight. I can’t believe you actually put it in print. Kinda stooping to make a point that really isn’t paralell to the point you’re trying to make. But, I think when reporters tailor their articles (and shows) to a certain agenda, whether favorable or negative, I think it’s wrong. I think in this case, Morris, like a lot of the hand wringers on talk shows, question, or go to the depts to question, coach Spurriers character, while also imposing their own medical expertise on this situation. Assuming that Spurrier put Shaw in the UAB game against better medical judgements, makes un-substantiated assumptions that 1> You know better of the medical condition than those advising Spurrier. 2> You assume that because the medical information is wrong and YOU know better, therefore Spurrier is making a desperate decision to put his #1 guy in there regardless of the risk he is imposing on that guy.

    So, here we are at the Mizzou game, when about a dozen of you hand wringers in the press want to throw your own flag on Shaws play for the game, saying “he CAN’T be ready” using words like “broke” “fracture” etc. to describe a insignificant small crack. Well, everyone of you were wrong. Again. It doesn’t even make for good entertainment to listen to it. Give us facts. I really don’t care to hear yours, or Morris’s medical opinion, or any other reporter for that matter. I listen for some sort of indepth, knowledge based, analysis on football.

    Tonight all I got was about an hours worth of Clemson fans telling everyone what we already knew; Clemson sucks. But, they’ll do well this year because most everyone they play is the same in the ACC.

    Thanks for the time…..

  9. You scum bag media punks all stick together. Nice non slanted story there kmap. The fact is Spurrier does not need anything from you leaches but you have nothing without people like him providing content for you to write about. You people are shit. I hope he completely shuts you guys out the rest of the year

  10. For you to attempt to make an analogy of any kind between Steve Spurrier and Joe Paterno says all I need to hear from the media about this. You may be credentialed but make no mistake about it. That has nothing to do with responsible journalism..

  11. I beg to disagree.
    Steve Spurrier has pulled this program together. It has been a long road, and is now starting to pay off. In my humble opinion ron morris is is a tick. I would not feed him or his cronies. People like ron morris are what tear a ball team apart. The H B C built this team not ron morris. So lets kick ron morris to the curb and get on with what we hired coach Spurrier to do.
    nuff said

  12. The problem I see is that the writers who are supposedly just questioning things often report their opinions instead of the facts, so I can understand why a coach might want to avoid letting the influence of certain members of the media permeate press conferences. If “reporters” would just invoke the spirit of “Dragnet”, things might get better, but with the way things currently are, coaches risk having their reputations tarnished because of the opinions of a few.

  13. You bring up Penn State in an article complaining about a frivolous matter of a coach not taking questions from the media about a ball game? Really?

  14. I’m surprised K-Mac didn’t invoke Hitler as well.
    I would take this column a lot more seriously, also, coming from Phil. Because Phil is a guy whose main contribution to the show is factual reporting, not opinion.
    K-Mac is primarily an opinion guy who, like Morris, often says things just to get a buzz, get a rise out of people.
    Unlike Morris, he doesn’t have that false sense of bravado. I’m sure Ron Morris thinks he’s the guy who “got” Lou Holtz in the end. And Lou laughed at Ron all the way to another good job, despite an ending that disappointed everyone.
    Morris for a while was Spurrier’s best body, when it fit his Holtz-centric style of reporting, when it fit his desire to show how “good” Spurrier was to make the not-so-subtle hint that this was a contrast to Evil Ol’ Lou.
    But that was getting very old, and now, in order to justify his paycheck and the reason he was specifically promoted to this columnist job (know a guy who worked at The State at the time and told me so), he has to stir things up by going after Spurrier.
    It has been stated, repeatedly, by Spurrier and Athletics Department figures that there’s no way for Spurrier to play Conner Shaw hurt even if he wanted to. So for both Morris and Josh Kendall to pursue story-lines and columns along that subject matter reveals a lot, but just about The State.
    Know what else reveals a lot about The State’s coverage? They had a guy who was basically fair, everyone agreed. And he ran off to Lexington Kentucky to get away from the crap at The State. Michael Smith is sincerely missed.

  15. Hey posters, boycott the state and boycott this site until they get rid of Morris and McCrarey. Paterno? Really?
    Good bye Sports Talk.

  16. Chris Aiken says:

    People whined because HBC isolated 1 reporter. Now you’re pissed because he cut you all off because you wanted everybody treated the same. Too bad, whiner. I’m with Rod. Bye State and bye Sports Talk. I’m Spurrier-ing you. No more questions.

  17. Wow… Joe Paterno? You people need to learn your craft. Ill be avoiding this garbage sports talk from here on out.

  18. Larry LaFavor says:

    The problem is not about anyone stating their opinions whether it is a reporter,tv anaylst, or a talk show host. Even fans and alumni share their opinions. The problem is when you question a persons integrity using these opinions and not the facts that you have been told. The medical staff cleared Conner shaw to play in both games. He told the media with his own words that he was well enough to play. These facts were completely ignored. The media chose to put their own spin on it and question a man’s honor of putting winning a game above a players health. You did not see him put Akeem Auguste in last week in place of D J Sweringer even though he was probably ready but had not been cleared by the medical staff. Spurrier has stated time after time that he would not put a player in the game without medical staff approval. If you investigate and find that the medical staffs at most major universities are pressured to clear players when they are not ready, then you have a story with facts. But until you have those facts, I believe it is wrong to tear down a persons honor and integrity using your opinion and ignoring the facts.Ron Morris does this all the time. It is time that the University take a stand on this and call him out for the irresponsible reporter that he has become.

  19. You have the nerve to compare Steve Spurrier to the Penn State situation? A new low even for you, K-Mac.

    This isn’t a question of a writer criticizing a coach’s ability. It’s the second time Moron has attacked Spurrier’s ethics. As a USC fan, the HBC does things strategically that drive me crazy and I would never jump on a member of the media for a critical opinion. But these personal attacks on a guy with a sterling record of integity by MoRon, Josh Kendall and now K-Mac are pure manure.

    Sportstalk and its advertisers need to remember that we Gamecocks can live without you just as easily as we now live without the State and its advertisers. How well can y’all live without us?

    If you are currently an advertiser on Sportstalk, ask the Jewelry Warehouse what it was like.

  20. This is clearly a journalist perspective: “This would be the equivalent of refusing to talk to any of your friends because you are upset with one of them, or ignoring everyone at your office because you are mad at the guy in the cubicle next to you.”

    Spurrier probably likens it to making the entire team run “mountains” when one of the players misses a practice.

    This is just Spurrier’s “free market” response under the current rules; he is not obligated to answer questions, so it is technically a “courtesy” he is extending to the media. A smart media person would realize this and act accordingly; perhaps the rules should be changed, but until they are, the media must figure out how to make the best of the current environment.

  21. I didn’t initially agree with the article. While I think a reporter should ask the question, I also believe that if the reporter already has an opinion, then the question is biased, and thus the story is no longer news. It is an editorial – all opinion. “News” media are using an outdated view of access, rights to expectations to a time when reporters were reporting and not giving opinion.

    What really angers me in this article is having the writer use as evidence for a need to question a coach, Joe Paterno and the Penn State scandal. These two stories have absolutely NO correlation and in no way should the likes of the latter story be pulled into use for this one.

    OFFENSIVE in every way.

  22. if this article is representative of what “credentialed reporters” write these days, then it’s a no-brainer why spurrier has frozen you idiots out. it’s also a no-brainer why the newspaper industry is on life support. penn state? really? thank you steve spurrier for sparing us from the stupid questions and nonsensical drivel that oozes from the local “credentialed” elite. lol…

  23. I used to have press credentials. Saw many reporter’s with agendas out there. It used to be you asked questions and to the point. But, today’s “journalist” ask loaded questions with the INTENT to twist and deceive the interviewee. The print media especially has become so jaded (Due to dwindling circulation) that they feel they need to be rude and loud. To sell subscriptions. I know. I saw Spurrier pull Ron to the side a few years back. Hyman was there also. I don’t remember the circumstances. But, they agreed to disagree on that day.

    All in all the profession has become a sheep hole. At South Carolina we are/were made to wear neutral colors and be professional. When we visit Clemson, they are allowed/ Encouraged to wear school colors. IMHO.. If you (K-Mac) really want to “Defend” you fellow journalist, then you should be honest and admit that there are some who have agendas to twist. Until the media admits it’s own shortcomings, they should not expect coaches to be at your whim.

  24. One other note,, I appreciate you and PK asking the hard questions of the upstate bunch. That group is as you say, just wanting cheerleaders up there.

  25. Dr. Gamecock says:

    I think that “Dr.” Ron Morris ought to leave the medical decisions to Medical Professionals. I hereby recind your self-granted Doctor of Medicine, Ron. End of dictation.

  26. Spurrier was being nice to the almost 81 year old Pepper Rodgers who he was meeting after his post-game press conference. Spurrier didn’t want to keep his former mentor waiting. It wasn’t that he was being mean to the press writers but that he was being nice to one of his friends.

  27. Honestly… who gives a crap. Sports reporters talking to Steve Spurrier has absolutely no effect on the day to day life of anyone living in South Carolina. If he refused to take questions during a scandal or something serious like that, sure, lambast the guy. There’s no rule that says he has to talk to the media, and if his team wins 10 games again and he refuses to talk to the media the rest of the season, there’s nothing any sports reporter can write that will make Carolina fire him. Sure, fans might get pissed off that they aren’t learning anything new about their team the entire season, but right now it seems like most fans here would rather have that then keep hearing about Ron Morris trashing their team.

  28. The word says that Ron Morris should be terminated immediately! Who does that scumbag think he is? I have cancelled my State newspaper subscription along with all of company’s advertising. The only thing the State newspaper can do to redeem it’s self is a full front page apology to Spurrier. All my business and personal friends agree. We are with you coach!

  29. Rofl at these coots…they are so glad their winning..dont know how to act…calm down we know u not use to winning and #spurrierisnotgod…

  30. Spurrier / Ward 2012 says:

    This article sucks. Kevin McCrarey sucks. Ron Morris sucks. Spurrier Rules. Go Gamecocks. (go to hell clemson)

    Tanner. Out. *drops mic*