Some SC HS Coaches Have Little Capital In Columbia

While some members of the South Carolina High School Coaches Association were busy railing against new South Carolina Head Coach Steve Spurrier's decision to pull scholarships from a select few players, fans are left wondering why some high school coaches feel they've earned the right to dictate scholarship policies to USC ...

(We would like to note at the beginning of this column that there are a number of high school coaches in the state of South Carolina, including Summerville's John McKissick, the winningest high school coach in The United States of America, who do not support the recent actions of some of their peers.)

The list of players reads like a who's who of potential All-Conference, All-American and NFL rosters.

Steven Davis, Shaun Ellis, Albert Haynesworth, Michael Boulware, Peter Boulware, Chris Hope, Jamale Reynolds, Vonnie Holliday, Richard Seymore, Alex Barron, Greg Jones, Jonathan Heffney, Travis Williams, Leon Hart, Rusty Williams, Lawrence Timmons, Robert Ayers, Courtney Brown, Gideon Brown, Sinclair Cannon, Richie Gandy, Tony McDaniel, Eric Young, Darian Durant and the list goes on and on and on and on.

Players who, in many cases, have been directed out-of-state to other universities by some of the same coaches who are now leading a charge to boycott Steve Spurrier's efforts with Gamecock football.

This is fodder for debate that almost boggles the mind!

How is it that suddenly some of these coaches feel they have the right to dictate to Coach Spurrier and his staff, who stays and who goes?

Here is the high schoolers' side of the story.

Many will tell you that their players, those who chose to go out-of-state, did so of their own accord wanting simply to play at a school where they had or have a chance to win a championship.

Others will tell you that there were mitigating circumstances that led to certain players leaving the state - circumstances of which they (the coaches) had no control such as parents or childhood preferences.

All that may be true but another truth is that high school coaches have more influence over their charges than most are willing to readily admit. They downplay their roles when there is an exodus and up-play their roles when they send a marginal prospect to Columbia.

Let's be real here. Many of these protesters are looking for recognition in their own right when they send one of their players packing to a Bobby Bowden or Phil Fulmer or whomever the flavor of the day is knocking at their office door during a given recruiting season.

You see, in the minds of some of these high school coaches they are validated by the ranking and tradition of the school at which their protégé signs - and along with that can come the claim of knowing celebrity big time college coaches on a first name basis.

Yet now, when these same highschool grand-standers have the opportunity to support one of the biggest celebrity names in the history of college coaching, not to mention send a message in the process that hard work and dedication pays off ... what do they do? Why they organize a little mass self-grandeuring attention-grabber right in the middle of Steve Spurrier's return to Hoover during SEC Media Days.

Nothing is by chance with these guys.

And there appears to be other motivating factors for their actions.

Andy Tweito, one of the leaders of this pack of protesters, is a fairly well known advocate of moving the yearly high school playoff games to Clemson and has been for some time. Yet before any Gamecock fans rush to claim a Clemson conspiracy, the fact of the matter is that based upon what we have read on all of the Clemson boards, most Clemson fans are as against the actions of some of the members of the SCHSCA as are Carolina fans.

Afterall, right is right and wrong is wrong.

But that too is the mantra of this group of coaches attempting to make a statement about Spurrier yanking scholarships. They claim they are protecting their players.

What these coaches fail to realize is that, once a player/student athlete leaves high school and enters the multi-billion dollar real world of major college athletics ... then it becomes a matter of production, dedication and hard work. And no high school coach is going to dictate otherwise to any successful program.

There is not even a need for the University of South Carolina's Athletic Department to handle this with kid gloves.

Let those coaches, a minority in total number of the members of the SCHSCA, do whatever they feel is necessary to attempt to prove their point. Move the playoff games to whatever stadium they will. In the end they are only hurting themselves as fans realize the level of hypocrisy being perpetrated by these so-called leaders of young men.

And while they are at it, why not ask these same coaches to abolish their standards of participation and work ethic at their own levels, at their own schools, within their own programs? How would they respond to such a request? Then it would become all about their own job performance and the bottom line wins and losses we assure you.

In the meantime, as Steve Spurrier raises the standards at USC and eventually wins the big games and championships of SC's own - and thus the hearts and mind of the young instate athletes, rest assured, this childish decision by some of the high school coaches will have no effect on the future decisions of those whom they are claiming to protect.

Spurrier would have never yanked a single scholarship were there not viable and worthy reasons. Perhaps fans need to ask the high school coaches what went wrong with the dismissed players' early training to cause them to fail to perform at a higher level? Or perhaps fans should push for an answer as to why coaches allowed players to sign with a school, when it was common knowledge that the player and his high school coach, had bitten off more than they could chew?

Lastly, the question begs; What sort of signal are these coaches sending, through their childish actions, to those whom they claim to care so much about?

Thankfully, the head man in charge at USC these days is a bigger man than some of those questioning his character at the moment. In the long run there will be more South Carolina high school coaches on Spurrier's side, than there will be those against him.

Talk About It On The Boards - Phil Kornblut covered it on his show with interviews.

Read About It On The Boards - Fans' Reactions

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