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Spurrier proposes coaches pay their football players

DESTIN — With the debate over paying football players swirling, South Carolina coach Steve Spurrier proposed having coaches pay 70 of them a $300 stipend per game Wednesday.

The former Florida coach acknowledged the plan probably won't get far at the SEC's meetings this week or in the NCAA realm but hopes it opens the door for future dialogue.

Florida's Will Muschamp, Alabama's Nick Saban, LSU's Les Miles, Mississippi's Houston Nutt, Mississippi State's Dan Mullen and Tennessee's Derek Dooley also signed the proposal.

There weren't many details.

But Spurrier knows most coaches, especially those in BCS conferences, make enough to foot the bill. He said the players could use the cash to give to their parents for travel, lodging and meals or they could take their girlfriends out for dinner.

"A bunch of us coaches felt so strongly about it that we would be willing to pay it," Spurrier said. "As coaches in the SEC, we make all the money — as do universities, television — and we need to get more to our players. We would like to make that happen. Probably won't, but we'd love to do it."

Spurrier acknowledged not every coach would be able to pay and there would be Title IX implications and other hurdles.

"I just wish there was a way to give our players a piece of the pie," Spurrier said. "It's so huge right now."

Ohio State president says AD's job is safe

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Ohio State president Gordon Gee said he expects athletic director Gene Smith to stay on despite known NCAA violations and other allegations that prompted coach Jim Tressel to resign Monday.

The latest allegations center around 50 cars bought by players, family members and friends. Sports Illustrated reported that quarterback Terrelle Pryor might have had as many as eight, including a used Nissan 350Z valued between $16,000 and $27,000 he was seen driving this week, over three seasons.

That's despite Pryor currently not being allowed to drive in Ohio. It was reported Wednesday that his license was suspended for 90 days effective May 20 because he failed to produce proof of insurance after being pulled over for a stop-sign violation on Feb. 19.

Pryor and four teammates are suspended for the season's first five games for trading memorabilia for cash and tattoos. Tressel was forced to step down primarily because he knew about the violations and did not report them.

Florida: Cornerback Janoris Jenkins pleaded no contest to a marijuana possession charge in Gainesville. Jenkins, kicked off the team in April after his third arrest in 23 months, was ordered to pay court costs and fines totaling $421.

Baseball: USF received an oral commitment from Roderick Shoulders, a former Brandon High star who this season had 14 homers and 58 RBIs in 53 games at State College of Florida Manatee-Sarasota. Whether the infielder/outfielder signs with the Bulls depends on where he's drafted next week. Boston took Shoulders in the 20th round last year, but he went to a junior college in order to be eligible this year. He said he doesn't know how high he must be drafted to go pro.

Men's basketball: Citing competitive imbalance (the East got all five NCAA bids last season) SEC coaches unanimously voted to scrap the two-division format starting this season. The top four would get byes for the tournament. A scheduling format has not been determined, and presidents are set to vote on Friday. … Doug Wallace, who led USF in scoring, rebounding and blocked shots as a senior in 1986-87, died May 21 in Miami of a heart attack. He was 45.

Men's golf: Florida shot 11-over 299 and was tied for 16th at the NCAA Championship in Stillwater, Okla. The top eight after today advance to match play. UF, at 23-over 599, was nine back of eighth.

Times staff writer Greg Auman contributed to this report.

Spurrier proposes coaches pay their football players 06/01/11 [Last modified: Wednesday, June 1, 2011 10:54pm]
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