Nov. 18, 2004
By Dennis Dodd Senior Writer
Tell Dennis your opinion!

If Steve Spurrier is headed to South Carolina, it is news to the folks who will have to approve his contract.


The chairman of the South Carolina board of trustees told on Thursday that he has no knowledge of Spurrier's imminent hiring. The Tennessean reported that an agreement has been reached in principle.

"I'll be very honest with you, I know of nothing right now," said Herbert C. Adams, an insurance executive in Laurens, S.C. "Our board has a policy that any contract more than $250,000 has to be approved by executive committee. That doesn't mean there isn't something there happening. But I promise you there is nothing official."

Asked if a third party could be negotiating with Spurrier below the trustees' level, Adams hedged.

"I'm not saying it's not possible," he said. "But our president is in Ireland. He would not be involved at this point in time. I think he would be pretty heavily involved."

The report says an announcement is expected early next week. Spokesman Kerry Tharp would neither confirm nor deny that Spurrier's hiring was near.

Lou Holtz (33-36 at South Carolina) has his team eligible for a third bowl bid in five seasons. (AP)
"We're not going to comment about any of it right now," Tharp said. "It's all speculative. When coach Holtz decides what he's going to do, then we'll decide where we're going to go with it."

South Carolina athletic director Mike McGee would not confirm or deny the report and referred all questions to Tharp. Holtz canceled a scheduled to meeting with the media Thursday after practice.

There is speculation that Holtz will retire after Saturday's rivalry game against Clemson. He is 33-36 in six years with the Game****s and is given credit for revitalizing the program. There is already a rumor circulating that Holtz will tell his team of his plans before the game. The Game****s are 6-4 and eligible to play in a bowl for the third time in his six seasons.

A lot of the speculation has been fueled by Holtz himself.

"My last game at Notre Dame, I'm not saying this is my last game ... we played one of the worst games we played at Notre Dame," Holtz said during the SEC teleconference this week. "Bob Davie was replacing me. It was a distraction. You aren't focused that week."

However, there is no certainty that Holtz will step down. He stayed on through a debilitating illness to his wife Beth. She had convinced Holtz, 67, to take the South Carolina job initially after two years away from the game. In 11 years at Notre Dame Holtz won 100 games, including a 1988 national championship, before leaving in 1996.

"If Lou were to decide to step down, that's the first deal," Adams said. "But I think Steve Spurrier would be at the top of everybody's list. He's a proven winner."

Spurrier coached Florida to six Southeastern Conference championships and the 1996 national title.

He posted 122 victories over 12 seasons at Florida and tormented opponents with his offensive flair and witty one-liners, and left town with the best winning percentage in league history, stepping down for a disastrous two-year stint in the pros with the Washington Redskins.

Holtz has a deal with the school that either party can walk away the contract within days of notice without liability.

The Associated Press contributed to this report