Before his South Carolina team matched up against the Miami Hurricanes in the Duck Commander Independence Bowl, coach Steve Spurrier wanted to set the record straight Friday about something that has been irritating him.
After he spoke in the pre-bowl news conference about how appreciative he is for his 6-6 Gamecocks to be playing 6-6 Miami, the ’Ol Ball Coach took a dramatic turn from the conversation.
Spurrier went on a friendly rant about how he was misquoted by former UM tight end Jeremy Shockey in Billy Corben’s recently released ESPN’s 30 for 30 The U Part 2 regarding the Bourbon Street brawl between Spurrier’s former 2000 Gators and the Hurricanes.
“While I’ve got your attention here,” he began, “let me say something. We’ve all been watching this University of Miami 30 for 30 on ESPN. OK. They won the game. They beat us fair and square.
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“But a Miami player on that team quoted me as saying, ‘We got our [butt] kicked off the field, and we got our [butt] kicked in the game.’ And I didn’t say that. I wouldn’t be that stupid to ever say anything like that.
“Now, a scuffle happened sometime earlier in the week on Bourbon Street. Nobody got arrested. Nobody got hurt. Nobody got suspended for the game. To me it was history.
“But for some reason, some people, some teams, or whoever, they like to glamorize fighting. Our teams don’t fight. I don’t think I’ve ever had a team in a brawl — not that I can remember. But I certainly … did not say what is attributed to me by a Miami player, to get the record straight. Now let’s talk about the Independence Bowl.”
The U Part 2 producer Corben told the Miami Herald after Spurrier’s comments that UM offensive lineman Brett Romberg preceded Shockey’s quotes in the movie by saying, “We were 2-0 that week, actually, against the Florida Gators.”
Then, here’s Shockey: “I remember their head coach Spurrier coming up to me after the game, saying, ‘You guys definitely deserved it. We got our [butt] beat off the field and on.’”
Here is Corben’s reaction to Spurrier’s comments: “That’s the challenge of documenting history. You have to rely on people’s memories.
“It could be apocryphal, or Coach Spurrier could just as easily be mistaken. Bottom line: The quote is definitely Spurrieresque, and whether he said it or not it’s 100 percent factually accurate.”
▪ South Carolina defensive tackle J.T. Surratt, a senior captain, was in the hospital as of Friday morning with a stomach ailment, Spurrier said. “I don’t know if he’ll be able to play,” he said.