2013 SEC Media Day Quotables: Coaches and players speak on Florida and other hot topics

By Adam Silverstein
July 18, 2013

The Florida Gators received their fair share of headlines at the 2013 Southeastern Conference Media Days on Tuesday but plenty of other coaches and players made waves as well for their comments and opinions.

Check out what Florida’s contingent had to say in the multiple links below.

Florida Gators at 2013 SEC Media Days: Main Post – News & Notes: Muschamp’s shot at Meyer, injuries, players, coaches | Game times vs. Toledo, Miami set | Muschamp: I’m “100% responsible” for players | Easley steals the show | VIDEOS: Florida players have fun interviewing each other

COACHES

» South Carolina head coach Steve Spurrier on paying players $3,600-$3,900 per season in addition to their scholarships: “I’m going to keep fighting for our guys. I don’t know what will come. If President [Barack] Obama would say, ‘Spurrier, you and those coaches need to quit fighting for your players,’ that they get enough, they get enough full scholarship, then I’ll shut up about it. But I just believe that these athletes, because of the enormous amount [of money they earn for the schools], just a little bit to help out with their parents watching games and so forth. Okay, that was our little talk about expenses. This is not ‘pay for play.’ Please don’t say, ‘Spurrier says pay for play.’ This is just expense money. I saw the other day this year, the NFL rookies, the minimum is $405,000, NFL rookie. And a third year kid, $630,000. That’s pay for play. Don’t disguise or say $300 for expenses for a game, that’s not pay for play. Just some expense money for our guys to live a little bit better, and their parents, guardians, whatever. Us coaches, if it was a financial burden for our universities, our coaches all offered to pay for it, all 14. It came up to $270,000, $280,000 a year for the coaches. We’d pay it all. We want our players to get a little bit more than they get.”

» Spurrier on if he would turn Florida in for a recruiting violation in like Urban Meyer did: “Like that? Probably not that [smiling]. If they were obviously doing something [on purpose], we were obviously doing something [on purpose], I would hope they’d turn us in. Usually go through the league office is the way. Yeah, we don’t turn a lot of people in anyway. You can’t ever condone breaking the rules on purpose, though. We don’t condone that with anybody.”

» Spurrier on staying on longer with the Gamecocks than he did with the Gators: “I didn’t think about that. I did think I could go eight, nine, ten years. I was at a booster club. … I said my plan and goal is to be the winningest coach here. It was only 65 wins. If we could average about eight a year, maybe win nine one year, I could get to 65. It worked out that we got 66. Last two years we’ve added up well. … I have an excellent coaching staff. I got guys that can recruit, coach, do everything. It’s not a stressful job for me as maybe some coaches have. Summertime we get away from it a bit, get refreshed, ready to go during the season. Burnout is not something I’m going to get, not unless we go real bad. It can go real bad if you think it can’t. I know it can go real bad if we don’t watch ourselves. Hopefully it won’t.”


» Spurrier on forcing Notre Dame into a conference: “[The SEC coaches] were sitting [at the SEC Spring Meetings] talking about the new four team playoff. … [Executive director Bill Hancock] said they were sitting with the commissioners of our BCS conferences and the athletic director of Notre Dame. Somebody said, ‘Why was he there?’ He’s equal with all the commissioners. We just started trying to figure out why the athletic director of Notre Dame is equal to all the conference commissioners. Nobody had a good answer except that’s the way it’s always been done. For whatever reason, all 14 of our head coaches thought that Notre Dame should join the ACC and play football like all the rest of us. They’re in a conference. I know the Notre Damers will get mad at me and us coaches maybe for saying that. If you were a Notre Damer, you would say, ‘We’re supposed to be independent in football,’ always this, that and the other. From all of the rest of us that are in a conference, we say, ‘Why aren’t they in a conference?’ It’s sort of hard to figure out why they have their own conference. They’re sort of in the ACC. I know it’s probably not going to happen, won’t happen because I said it, but maybe if you can give me a good reason why they’re not in a good conference with all the rest of the schools, that’s something we talked about right there. OK, we all voted 14 0 they ought to be in a conference [smiling].”

» Spurrier on potentially playing or rotating two quarterbacks: “Historically when I’ve had two quarterbacks to help us win, last time was way back in 2000 when Rex Grossman and Jesse Palmer rotated around. Usually Rex would go good for a while, then he’d go bad. Jesse would come in, go for a while, then Rex was ready to come back in. Each of them played in four victories and we won the conference with an 8 1 record. I don’t know how it’s going to play out.”

» Tennessee head coach Butch Jones on whether fans are clamoring for a victory against Florida (Vols have lost eight-straight to the Gators): “I hear it all the time. Obviously being at Tennessee, we have a lot of rivalry games. I’ve heard that about Florida, obviously. I’ve heard that about Alabama. In order for us to make those rivalry games, we have to get back to being relevant and winning those football games. Obviously those are tremendous football programs with Coach Muschamp and Coach Saban. Obviously they’ve done a tremendous job. I hear that all the time. Our fan base is very prideful, so I’m reminded of that quite a bit.”

» LSU head coach Les Miles on playing Florida and Georgia in the same season once again: “We play Georgia and Florida for the seventh time this year [since 2000]. I’d have to say there’s some other schools that have not played Georgia and Florida in the same year in my entire time here or since 2000. I’d have to say there’s a repeated scheduling advantage and disadvantage for certain teams in this conference based on tradition and traditional matchups.”

» Alabama head coach Nick Saban on if he agrees with Miles that there is a major schedule inequality, especially with playing UF each season: “Yeah, but there can never be an equal path to the championship. Unless everybody plays everybody, that’s the only equal path to championship. Everybody doesn’t play everybody in the NFL. You rotate your schedule. We have to rotate the schedule. … Every player [should play] every team in the SEC in his career. That means you must play at least two teams on the other side. I have a tremendous amount of respect for the traditions that our fans enjoy, which our Tennessee game is a big game for our fans. So the only way to do that is play nine games. I understand where Les Miles is coming from. I coached at LSU. We played Florida every year, too. So if anybody understands it, I understand it. They may not have that same tradition. My question is, is do other coaches understand our circumstance? Do they understand Auburn/Georgia circumstance? Do they understand the other teams in our league that do have rivalries that are cherished by the fans?”

» Arkansas head coach Bret Bielema after being told Auburn head coach Gus Malzahn called his comments about hurry-up, no-huddle offenses being dangers for players a joke: “I’m not a comedian.”

» Bielema on if he would ever report his former school, Wisconsin, for recruiting violations (like Meyer did to Florida): “No. … What I would commonly do, there was a nice story written about this in my previous institution, is if I had a problem with the way another school was doing things, I would call the head coach and express my concern to them. So what I would do commonly is if I had a problem with a certain university, I would call the head coach, tell them the story I have, give them a chance for them to tell me their side of it, their belief, move forward from there. If I didn’t get the answer that I wanted, I may go to my [athletic director]. But there’s a step process we usually follow. I can’t say that happens for everybody, but that’s definitely not one I would take.”

» Bielema told reporters that he bumped into UF head coach Will Muschamp at a Kenny Chesney concert earlier in the summer. (via SI.com’s Andy Staples)

» Georgia head coach Mark Richt on a potential league-wide drug testing and enforcement policy: “Would I like that? I would like that. I think that would be a good thing for the league to be in sync in that regard. I would think it’s going to be very difficult to do certainly at the presidential level, they would all have to agree that it should be done, this is what it’s going to look like.”

» Vanderbilt head coach James Franklin on each team having two bye weeks this season: “I love the open dates. I’m actually going to talk to Commissioner [Mike] Slive and find out how we can get six to eight open dates, play every other week. I think that’s a tremendous opportunity for us to get a break throughout the year, get your guys an opportunity to recover, making sure they’ve got the time to spend on all the academic requirements as well.”

» Kentucky head coach Mark Stoops on his brother, Oklahoma head coach Bob Stoops, questioning the top-to-bottom strength of the SEC compared to the Big 12: “I certainly understand Bob defending his conference. I just left the ACC. You know, I think everybody’s going to defend what they’re doing in their conference. With that being said, I don’t think any of us need to defend what’s going on here in the SEC. The success we’ve had in the SEC speaks for itself. Of course, there’s some other good conferences out there, as well.”

PLAYERS

» Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel on receiving a voicemail from Tim Tebow and trying to get in touch with him: “There’s been some miscommunication … and I haven’t talked to him personally, but I really would like to get a chance to. Tebow’s a guy I really look up to. He’s an SEC legend. I hope I can reach [his] level and do the things he did at Florida.” (via the Orlando Sentinel’s Mike Bianchi)

» LSU QB Zach Mettenberger on improving as a thrower thanks to offensive coordinator Cam Cameron: “It’s not like I’m Tim Tebow and have terrible mechanics.” (via CBSSports.com’s Bruce Feldman)

» USC defensive end Jadevevon Clowney, telling a funny story about an opponent trash talking, said a Florida offensive lineman was taunting him about the Gators leading when one of his teammates, who was assigned to block Clowney, said, “Shut up, man!” (via ESPN’s Joe Schad)

» UT offensive tackle Antonio Richardson on which players he looks forward to playing against this season: [Ronald Powell] is a great player. I think a lot of people went to sleep on him because he tore his ACL, but I think he’s going to have a great season. He’s one of the guys I’m excited to play against.”

Unattributed quotes provided by transcripts from ASAP Sports.

3 Comments

  1. Zulueta says:

    I love the quote from Clowney.

    • Michael Jones says:

      Ha ha! Yeah, no kidding. It’s easy to talk smack to a monster when you’re not the guy trying to block him once he gets mad.

  2. armygator says:

    Mettenberger should have shortened his comment to say “It’s not like I’m Tim Tebow” and left it at that.

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