Posted: 5:33 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 12, 2013
We’ve always liked Steve Spurrier, partly because his teams are fun and partly because he has an absolute genius for creating rivalries or, better yet, amplifying them (witness Florida-Tennessee or Duke-Virginia. Years after Spurrier left Duke, a Virginia kid said “I don’t know why I hate Duke. I just do.” Well, we knew. Spurrier drove UVa crazy).
But this latest news is really infuriating: Ron Morris, who
covers covered South Carolina for The State, has been ordered by his newspaper not to cover the Gamecocks. In fact, the paper forced him to say, in writing, that he’d never write about the Gamecocks or talk about them on TV or radio.
That’s disgraceful, and almost as disgraceful as the paper replacing him with a reporter Spurrier recommended.
So the coverage of South Carolina athletics has come to this: the coach will not tolerate criticism and the newspaper will allow him to determine who is going to cover him. There could be lawyers involved, but short of a possible suit, this is about as low as a newspaper can go. We know a lot of people in South Carolina don’t care for Morris, who can be biting to say the least, but if you put a Spurrier chauvinist in charge of covering Spurrier, all you’re doing is guaranteeing that the reporter will merely be cheerleading. And when the spit hits the fan, what’s left of the paper’s credibility is going straight down the crapper.