DESTIN, Fla. - The SEC's dominant, and perhaps overblown if you believe some coaches, issue is set to be ruled on Friday. And we'll be camped out at the Hilton waiting for the presidents and commissioner Mike Slive to reveal their ruling.
On another note, and a curious one, Mark Richt saw the need to clarify his public stance on Steve Spurrier's proposal to pay players $300 per game. Richt was not one of the six SEC coaches who signed on to Spurrier's proposal. He gave a fairly tame reaction at first on Wednesday, saying it was a nice idea. But UGA released this from Richt on Thursday night:
"I am all for providing more financial help for our players. I'd even go so far as to say I'd be willing to help fund it if there is a way that's possible. I just don't believe Coach Spurrier's idea is feasible.
"If we're going to do something like this, we have to do it for all 125 guys, not just 70. That would create all sorts of morale and chemistry problems. Doesn't everyone practice? Can you imagine trying to decide a dress list knowing that you'd be cutting out 55 guys who are working just as hard every day? Also, if we do this for football, I believe you have to do it for every sport across the board at every level of the NCAA. This is much bigger than SEC football.
"I'd prefer spending time talking about ideas that have a legitimate chance of becoming reality."
You could surmise that Richt felt a bit of blowback from his initial statement, perhaps from those who thought it would be bad P.R.-wise, i.e. for recruiting. But Richt is also the kind of guy who would give it real thought and decide to come back with a clearer, thought-out statement. After all, Spurrier's idea surely caught him by surprise. (And who knows if the six coaches who did sign it really cared much about what they were saying.)
The bottom line is Spurrier's idea, while noble, has no chance of passing. Slive and NCAA president Mark Emmert made that clear within hours. So why did Spurrier propose it? Having covered him, I think he's just clever enough to see the recruiting pay-off, as well as the opportunity for it to make headlines and deflect from the Stephen Garcia situation and the over-signing proposal.
But I also know Spurrier's has a fairly liberal social streak. (Remember his shot at the Confederate flag?) So I don't doubt that he honestly thinks it's a good idea. And he deserves credit for at least trying.