Long-time college football coach Steve Spurrier, a former NFL quarterback who failed in two years as the head coach in Washington, has retired from coaching. Per multiple reports, the retirement is effective immediately.
Spurrier, once atop the perpetual “A” list with a sense that a jump to the NFL from the University of Florida was inevitable, accepted an offer to coach Washington in 2002. He generated a record of 12-20 through 2003, ruffling the feathers along the way of colleagues he chided regarding the workaholic culture of pro coaching.
“I saw a story saying [former Saints coach] Jim Haslett comes in at 4:30 every morning — that’s not doing him much good,” Spurrier said at the time.
Spurrier retires at a time when nothing is doing him much good at South Carolina, the school he has coached since leaving Washington. Some have suggested that, given the timing, Spurrier isn’t retiring but quitting. Unless there’s a health-related reason for the decision, that’s probably a fair assessment.
And it should be a lesson for every college football player. If coaches are going to quit during the season or, more commonly, bolt from the program for a better offer elsewhere, players should start putting their own interests first, too.
Whether that means sitting out for that third year after high school before become eligible for theNFL draft or withdrawing from school after suffering a knee injury and focusing on rehab and preparation for the draft or simply walking away for the final games of a lost season, cognizant that participating in a handful of meaningless contests will do nothing to enhance the player’s draft stock and everything to jeopardize it, there’s nothing wrong with making that kind of decision — even if the coach and everyone else connected to the university will try to make the player think there is.