Clowney passes on one game, Spurrier goes passive aggressive


South Carolina defensive end Jadeveon Clowney should have chosen not to play at all this season.  Barred by an unfair rule from plying his trade at the NFL level until he’s three years removed from high school, Clowney had everything to lose and nothing to gain by playing for free for another year.

Clowney possibly has begun to figure that out.  With the buzz around him diminishing amid a season of ineffectiveness and injury, Clowney opted to sit on Saturday against Kentucky.

And, of course, the guy who gets paid the most for Clowney playing for free went passive aggressive on his star player for choosing not to play.

“I will just say he told me he couldn’t play,” coach Steve Spurrier told the State.  “That his ribs hurt, couldn’t run.  Said ‘I can’t play.’  I said, ‘That’s fine, you don’t have to play.’  We’ll move on.  He may not be able to play next week, I don’t know.  We’re not going to worry about it, I can assure you that if he wants to play, we’ll welcome him to come play for the team if he wants to.

“If he doesn’t want to play, he doesn’t have to play, simple as that.  We were thinking he was going to suit up and play.  He did not practice Thursday.  Couldn’t run.  Said he couldn’t play.  Any time a player says he’s hurt, can’t play, who are we to question?  He doesn’t play.”

Way to have your player’s back, Ball Coach.  But at least Clowney can count on defensive coordinator Lorenzo Ward, right?


“I was totally surprised,” Ward said.  “We went through walk-through earlier today, and he said he was hurting, but I thought he was going to play.”

While it’s too late for Clowney to go back to July and tell the Gamecocks that he won’t be undermining his draft stock by playing for free in 2013, Clowney’s case should be a warning to the next guy who finds his stock as high as it can be a year before he’s eligible to be drafted.

When that happens, take your chips, leave the table, stay in shape, and quit playing for free.  Though you’ll make more money for your school and your head coach, you could be hurting your own ability to be compensated later.

32 responses to “Clowney passes on one game, Spurrier goes passive aggressive

  1. College athletes to do not play for free, they receive a free Education, worth a whole lot once his career is over. Not if this is known by all, but college is expensive! It is also his fault he is losing hype by his own performance. Perhaps he is overrated!!!!

  2. Spurrier is one of the biggest proponents of paying players – even out of his own check. Taking shots at him for the rules the NFL sets for draft eligibility is unwarranted.

    It stinks for Clowney he’s not in the NFL right now, but it is what it is. If he was really concerned about his health he should’ve dropped out of USC and signed with IMG or one of the other agencies and spent time training and getting money up front. He didn’t, so he should at least try to help his team win provided he is healthy enough to go

  3. The rule is unfair, but I’d hate to see football turn into basketball where players can enter the league after one year removed from high school. It would make both college and professional less interesting. It’s a selfish reason to leave the rule as it is. I’m not opposed to college players getting paid, though.

  4. Sounds like the kind of player an NFL team wants to use their #1 pick on…Totally cares about football and is not about the money…That is a franchise type of guy..

  5. A player’s draft stock would take a much larger hit by sitting out a year than by having some injuries and inconsistent play.

    All the top evaluators talk about guys who have a love for the game. A player who voluntarily sits out for a year just to be safe would see “character” red flags all over come draft time.

  6. He was never going to be the number one pick anyways, Blaine Gabbert told me. If the Steelers pick first though, that defense will have some key, young parts. Jarvis Jones and Clowney, that could be a heck of a tandem.

  7. This is what happens when you crown a guy as “the next big thing” after he makes one play.

  8. Kids doesn’t have the heart it takes to make it, Give me a guy with good talent who loves the game over a guy with great talent who plays to have an income.

  9. Some of yall are acting like he just made up an injury and didn’t want to play. If you read it says he couldn’t even practice Thursday, they were playing a crappy Kentucky team, let the guy heal up for the next game.

  10. How is it an unfair rule?? The argument that he can’t “ply his trade” is complete and total bull. There is nothing stopping him from going and playing semi-pro or even going to the CFL. The fact that he receives a scholarship for his education means he does get paid even he is too stupid to realize the opportunity in front of him.

  11. Many universities get 30-50k a year to attend so no, he’s not playing for free.

    On the other hand since it seems he’s guaranteed to be a high draft pick in the NFL he needs to protect himself so he can make the really big money that his college education likely wouldn’t allow him to

  12. If he were to follow Florio’s advice and refuse to play for the school, the school should refuse to educate him. Furthermore, the school should kick him out unless he can re-apply and gain acceptance without the athletic scholarship and pay way his like everybody else…it’s just the principle of it. I’m certain Mr. Clowney would be perfectly content to not get educated, sit a year and then enter the NFL as the # 1 pick.

  13. Uhhh, no school can give Clowney what the NFL can.

    If he wants an education, that first-round signing bonus ought to cover it. It also puts his children through college. And his children’s children.

    Playing this season can’t raise his draft stock. It only puts him at risk of losing value, getting hurt, and medical bills he has no income to pay.

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