Steve Spurrier's weekly press conference went by rather quickly on Tuesday. That's because the University of South Carolina football coach decided that he would not speak as long as Ron Morris, a columnist from The State, was in the room.
He began the media session by saying he needed get something off his chest. With the assembled reporters eagerly waiting, Spurrier pointed at Morris, saying "we've got a negative guy over here that tries to hurt our football program."
Spurrier made it clear that he's not opposed to being criticized, noting that Morris "has a right to do that," but explained that he is speaking in this case because he doesn't "like stories that aren't true."
The Ol' Ball Coach then shared an anecdote about how Morris wrote a story in the spring claiming that Spurrier lured prospect Bruce Ellington away from the basketball program. Spurrier said it was a "completely untrue story" and claimed he had talked to Ellington after he had met with the basketball coach.
Spurrier closed his two-minute anti-Morris monologue by informing everyone in the room that he refused to talk with Morris in the room:
"In 26 years as a head coach, I've had have two guys that didn't write the truth that I had to disassociate with. He's one of them over here. (Pointing to Morris). Another one was...at Florida in '94, so in 26 years I've had two guys. And then I've learned that since he sits in on all these meetings it's basically...I'm helping him to contribute writing negative stuff about our football program, simple as that. So I'm not gonna talk when he's in here. That's my right as a head coach. I don't have to talk to him, and I don't have to talk to him when he's in here so what we're going to do. All you tv guys I'm gonna do a personal interview with you in this other room and the writers that are still left in here I'll come back and talk to you right after that."
Ross is by no means the first -- or the last -- writer to run afoul of the team, coach or players that he is covering. Just this year, Esquire writer Scott Raab was banned by the Miami Heat from American Airlines Arena, denied media credentials and access to the players due to his criticisms of the team, specifically LeBron James. Raab followed the Heat throughout the 2010-11 season for his book The Whore Of Akron, and heavily criticized James for leaving Cleveland for Miami.
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