Lower Standards for Black Athletes at South Carolina and Pay Them: Steve Spurrier’s Plan to Save College Football

This is going to be the first-part of a three-part response to the article Steve Sailer wrote about college football  for Vdare.com.

Lower standards so Black players can get into USC; pay them too!

We’ve written about collegiate sports here (and professional) and the role they play in keeping conservatives from speaking out about the Black underclass, since the majority of the athletes that represent universities on the football field and basketball courts are from these areas.

Without sports, one is hard pressed to think of where positive images of Black people could originate from (excluding the manufacturing of positive images from Hollywood and television writers).

Steve Spurrier, the head coach of the South Carolina Gamecocks, is stating that players should be paid a $300 stipend for each game in the season. He believes the money should come from the head coaches pocket.

We already addressed this question in an article published during March Madness. The USA Today quantified the value of an athletic scholarship and pointed out that the opportunity major college athletes have in making connections that will advance their careers in ways that no normal student could imagine is a bonus that can’t be qualified.

That most Black college athletes fail to graduate or choose majors that aren’t appealing or lucrative to potential employers is the fault of only the Black college athlete.

As Steve pointed out in his article, Southeastern Conference (SEC) coaches have been oversigning players (the typical SEC recruiting class has 28 players, of which 24 are Black and come from areas that few of the white fans live anywhere near):

“It’s also different recruiting in a lot of the SEC states than it is in other parts of the country in that coaches are dealing with a larger pool of at-risk students academically. Granted, it’s not politically correct to say that, and coaches are hesitant to say it publicly. But just about all of them deal with it in the SEC, and often it’s a guessing game down to the last minute about whether a handful of players in each class are going to qualify academically.”

Knowing how much money is spent on tutoring those players who do qualify (academic centers for athletes only cost tens of millions of dollars to build), it boggles the mind that so few of the Black athletes at SEC schools actually graduate.

Perhaps two SEC coaches – Spurrier included – let the cat of the bag as to why that is, as Auburn Head Coach Gene Chizik said this:

“I don’t think any of us can say that’s never happened. …. But I think the majority of people always want to do what’s best for the student-athlete and his family,” Chizik said. “I can only speak about it at Auburn and I can say that’s not something we’d ever intend to do.”

Chizik said it would be “extremely taxing” and a “huge undertaking” for coaches to only be allowed to sign 25 and get all 25 into school. 

“When you sit in our seat every day for 26 years, you see all the different things that could happen,” Chizik said. “Are there some risk/reward chances you have to take on guys? Absolutely. Everybody across the country does it every year. Unfortunately, every school doesn’t recruit every single kid who is 300 points above the SAT and has a 3.0 GPA. That’s not realistic. We also want to give kids opportunities to be student-athletes as well.”

Chizik stopped short of saying the SEC has a competitive advantage over other conferences by oversigning but added: “We want to keep our rosters to the point where we can compete with everybody else.”

Every school could recruit players who perform well on the SAT (and aren’t partial qualifiers) and have a 3.0 GPA. Because white fans have been conditioned to believe that only Black athletes can perform at high levels, college football coaches (in the SEC at least) only recruit Black athletes.

These Black athletes have a tendency to get in loads of trouble as Sports Illustrated and the campuses of Athens, Gainesville, and Knoxville have found out. But the positives outweigh the negative and recruiting thug athletes who have no business being at a major collegiate institution (or for that matter, an HBCU) will continue to the overall detriment of the institution and community.

How many SEC schools have gone on probation in the past 30 years because of recruiting scandals involving Black athletes? Or for that matter, schools nationwide? We’re looking at you Ohio State.

Coaches, like Jim Tressel, will lie about the poor behavior of their Black athletes because they believe they need Black athletes to compete. Here is Steve Spurrier on oversigning:

South Carolina’s Steve Spurrier has said the Gamecocks must over-sign because of his state’s poor academic record, and Ole Miss coach Houston Nutt remains a staunch supporter of this recruiting method. Nutt impulsively signed 37 recruits in 2009, leading to SEC and NCAA legislation capping the limit at 28. 
 
Alabama’s Nick Saban is concerned about future restrictions in the SEC, telling ESPN, “In my opinion, it would really affect the quality in our league.”

The state of South Carolina does have a poor academic record, for Black students. Since Spurrier believes only Black athletes can help make his team competitive, he recruits athlete-students that have no business setting foot on the USC campus in Columbia, let alone the HBCU campuses in the state.

Tom Lemming, one of the top high school recruiting gurus, has stated that white athletes are at a major disadvantage because of the perception of Black superiority:

An article on former Notre Dame safety and current Baltimore Raven defensive back Tom Zbikowski contained this nugget of wisdom that will come in handy as we discuss an achievement that transpired last Sunday:

“When you’re a white athlete, you’re never fast,” Ed (Zbikowski, Tom’s father) said without a hint of resentment or disrespect in his voice. “It’s reality, and we dealt with it.”

Recruiting analyst Tom Lemming of CSTV and the Prep Football Report, said Zbikowski’s saga is hardly isolated.

“When it comes to football, white athletes have to prove themselves more than black athletes at certain positions — cornerback, wide receiver and running back,” Lemming said. “There’s a prejudice amongst a lot of college coaches — not all of them — that white guys can’t play those positions. So when they get to college, they get switched right away to other positions.

Lemming was quoted in The Blind Side saying something quite similar (page 37):

“And there were anti-types: lord help the white receiver or the white running back, or until the earlier 1990s, the black quarterback.”

At a time when Stanford, an elite university that lets white athletes actual play, touts the worth of their degree (though they do have a list of ‘easy classes’ for Black students), Steve Spurrier is committed to having South Carolina lower the requirements of admission to the school so players with the IQ of Alvin Greene can suit up for the Gamecocks:

University of South Carolina football coach Steve Spurrier wants the University of South Carolina to lower its admissions standards for football players to whatever the minimum is for NCAA athletes. Steve, we might be more sympathetic to this ploy if South Carolina’s freshman graduation rate [PDF] for African-American football players entering in 1999-2000 were higher than 38% (compared with 58% for all African-American students at South Carolina entering in 1999-2000). Do you really want to bring students into USC to be educated or to be fodder for your glory?

Spurrier even threatened to quit as USC coach if the school didn’t lower standards for its primarily Black football team:

South Carolina football coach Steve Spurrier blasted the school’s admissions process, apologizing to two recruits who signed with the Gamecocks last winter and were denied academic entry this summer.
“In my opinion, I still believe we made a mistake,” Spurrier said Sunday. 

Spurrier had spoken with university president Andrew Sorensen and the two agreed, the coach said, that things needed to change. 

Spurrier was angered that receiver Michael Bowman of Wadesboro, N.C., and Arkee Smith of Jacksonville, Fla., were cleared by the NCAA to enroll, yet were turned down by the university. The rest of the Gamecocks football team officially reported Friday for preseason camp. 

“Hopefully, I truly believe this is the last year this is going to happen, because I can’t operate like that,” Spurrier said. “I can’t operate misleading young men.” 

Spurrier signed a contract extension, which included a raise of nearly a half-million dollars, that ties him to South Carolina through 2012. However, he said if things didn’t change on admissions “then I have to go somewhere else, because I can’t tell the young man that he’s coming to school here,” then not have him admitted. 

University spokesman Russ McKinney said Spurrier has been involved in talks with Sorensen and other administrators about refining the process of athletic admissions. 

“I think the university administration understands his frustration,” McKinney said.

That is the mentality of the SEC and the culture of the south. Thankfully that is not the mentality of Jim Harbaugh, who didn’t want to go to Michigan because they have lower standards.  Even though Steve Spurrier has campaigned to reduce academic requirements so Black athletes can gain entry to South Carolina at an embarrassingly low standard, the NAACP has told Black athletes they shouldn’t attend the school:

We’re five months from the opening kickoff of the 2010 college football season but things are already heating up with the University of South Carolina football program. 

The Gamecocks are on the verge of losing their only black member on the board of trustees, causing outrage by local community members and politicians. 

What does this have to do with head coach Steve Spurrier’s football program? 

According to the Associated Press, South Carolina Legislative Black Caucus chairman, Rep. David Weeks, said members of the community want black South Carolina football recruits to reconsider playing for the Gamecocks, including Marcus Lattimore. Lattimore was rated as the top high school running back by Rivals.com and chose South Carolina over Auburn University. 

Alton Hyatt Jr. is challenging for the seat currently held by the University of South Carolina’s lone black trustee, 39-year-old attorney Leah B. Moody. If Hyatt, a white attorney, were elected by the General Assembly in a vote that’s expected to take place in April, the 22-member Board of Trustees would lack a black presence. South Carolina would also be the only school in the Southeastern Conference without a black board member. 

Moody was appointed last September by Gov. Mark Sanford to fill a vacant position after Samuel Foster II resigned because of federal bank fund charges. Foster was the first black member elected to the board in 1984 and was on his way to becoming the first black chairman prior to his sudden resignation. 

“This is a state that continues to fly the Confederate flag (on the State House grounds), and now, out of 20 elected and appointed board members, can’t see fit to put a single African-American member on the board,” said state Rep. Todd Rutherford, a Richland County Democrat and a member of the Legislative Black Caucus.

There are many reasons why I wouldn’t attend the University of South Carolina, starting with the fact that the Confederate flag continues to fly within the state. 

But these young men have made a commitment to the school and the team’s football program when they signed their name on the dotted line of a letter of intent. 

NCAA rules state recruits that have already signed a letter of intent with a school would lose a year of eligibility if they chose to transfer to another program. The only exception is a school released a player from his commitment, which isn’t happening in Columbia where football is king. 

The thought of The Ol’ Ball coach losing his best recruit during his five seasons with the Gamecocks won’t sit well with the locals – including the same people voting on Moody’s seat. 

What Spurrier and his football program does on the field has nothing to do with what’s going on with the board of trustees. 

The last time I checked with Sallie Mae, a free college education is hard to come by, and asking these kids to turn down that opportunity so a group of adults can have their way is selfish and irresponsible. 

This doesn’t mean the possibility of having zero black board of trustee members at a major university is not troubling, especially in 2010 with President Obama in the White House.

Football is more important than culture in the south. Tommy Tuberville, former coach at Ole Miss and Auburn, campaigned to have the Confederate flag removed from the former campus because it drove away Black recruits. Never mind that Ole Miss has fielded a majority Black team since the late 1980s… Steve Spurrier feels the same way in South Carolina:

The Confederate flag shouldn’t fly at the Statehouse, South Carolina head football coach Steve Spurrier said Saturday after the Gamecocks’ annual spring game.

Spurrier’s comments came in response to questions about something he said Friday night when he received an award from a volunteer organization. According to people at that event, Spurrier said the flag should come down.
“My opinion is we don’t need the Confederate flag at our Capitol,” Spurrier said Saturday. “I don’t really know anybody that wants it there, but I guess there are a lot of South Carolinians that do want it there.”
City Year board chairman Kerry Abel said Spurrier’s remarks at his group’s awards banquet Friday night caught everyone by surprise.
On a video of the banquet, Spurrier is seen saying the South Carolina-Tennessee game last year, which was featured on ESPN’s GameDay, was marred “by some clown was waving that dang, damn Confederate flag behind the TV set. And it was embarrassing to me and I know embarrassing to our state.”
“I realize I’m not supposed to get in the political arena as a football coach, but if anybody were ever to ask me about that damn Confederate flag, I would say we need to get rid of it,” Spurrier said at the banquet. “I’ve been told not to talk about that. But if anyone were ever to ask me about it, I certainly wish we could rid of it.”

It is college football head coaches like Steve Spurrier that allow the toleration of crime-plagued major cities like Birmingham, Memphis, Atlanta, Mobile, Columbia, Orlando, Jackson, and other southern cities because of the prized Black recruits that can be plucked from these cities white fans move far way from so their children can attend “better” schools.

The SEC: All-white schools with part-time Black athlete-students

Tom Lemming has shown that white athletes are overlooked in high school and one reason he doesn’t state (but we’ll postulate) is because opposing SEC or Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) coaches would claim that Auburn or Alabama were racist for playing a white running back or white receiver or a white corner back.

These are positions dominated by Black players and for a coach to play a white athlete would only be possible due to racism. Remember what star LSU white running back faced in the coal-Black SEC:

“Still, there have been other instances in which Hester has removed his helmet without meaning to pull a fast one—like when he’s trying to towel off the part of him that is most an anachronism: his white face.

“The fact is, in today’s game, it’s rare to see a white running back playing the role of dominant rusher on a college football team, let alone a national champion. And Hester hears about it. In 2006, after shedding his headgear during a first-quarter timeout against Tennessee, Vols linebacker Jerod Mayo reacted as if he had seen a ghost. Said Mayo to Hester, “Shouldn’t you be playing running back for Air Force?‘ “

The Kentucky Wildcats had an all-white receiving lineup in 2002 that Black players called “The Snow Storm“:

The Wildcats’ all-white starting receiving corps of Aaron Boone, Derek Abney and Tommy Cook has combined for 77 catches, 1,235 yards, 13 touchdowns and one catchy nickname. Seems some of the black players on the team have jokingly referred to the trio as “The Snow Storm.” Lead storm trooper Abney, generously listed at 5-10 and 172 pounds, now has returned five kicks for touchdowns this year, after taking back two punts last week against Mississippi State. White Lightning is averaging 19.2 yards every time he touches the ball and is the only Division I-A player with at least 450 yards in receptions, punt returns and kickoff returns. His six career kick-return TDs ties the SEC record set by Vanderbilt’s Lee “Long Gone” Nalley in the 1940s. “At one particular point it amazed me how tough this kid is,” coach Guy Morriss said. “He’s taken some shots, and he’ll bounce back up like he’s made out of Flubber, almost. It’s almost like he’s sending back a message to the guy that hit him, ‘That didn’t hurt me.’ ” 

 Sports Illustrated wrote an article about how Blacks dominated the once lily-white SEC back in 1991. They wrote:

While Alabama’s football program thrived after integration, Mississippi’s went downhill. Having averaged almost eight victories a year from 1951 through ’71, the Rebels won as many as seven games only once between 1972 and ’85. One reason was that the all-white private academies—they began to spring up around the state after federal intervention in 1962 enabled James Meredith to become Ole Miss’s first black student—didn’t provide the caliber of competition necessary to produce athletes good enough to play in the SEC. But what hurt Mississippi more was that many black athletes boycotted the school because of its refusal to get rid of the Rebels’ nickname and its reluctance to discourage fans from waving Confederate flags at games.

“I think our school and our state have done more to correct the injustices of the past than any other state in the nation,” says Ole Miss football coach Billy Brewer, who played for the Rebels in the late 1950s. “But we never got any credit for it until recently. Only when the Chucky Mullins tragedy happened did the national news media come in and see for themselves what Mississippi is really all about.”

And don’t forget Jeff Maehl and Toby Gerhart and how they were treated.

It’s amazing how many SEC institutions have gone on long-term probation (Alabama, Auburn, Ole Miss, Mississippi State, Kentucky) due to infractions during the courtship – recruiting process of these Black athletes. But that doesn’t matter and neither do traditions to these SEC schools or head coaches whose number one priority is winning, regardless of the loss of identity to the school and the lowered academic requirements.

Paying the players seems like a logical next step to Steve Spurrier, who has undoubtedly been playing his Black players under the table since he first stepped foot in the SEC as a head coach back in 1991 (at his alma mater, the U of Florida).

Again, South Carolina fans are livid that they might not be allowed to oversign under-qualified Black athletes and fret that a university that has traditionally been a doormat college football player might not be able to win eight games and make a bowl game in Shreveport.

It’s a well-known fact that the proficiency of Black students is abysmal, yet because of the superior athleticism on the high school fields these intellectual shortcomings are overlooked in the almighty pursuit of victory.

What’s fitting is that the SEC Conference championship game once was played at Legion Field in Birmingham. No longer an facility worthy of even a University of Alabama Birmingham game, the SEC Title moved to Atlanta in 1993 and found a home at the Georgia Dome.

Outside Legion Field is a statue to Paul “Bear” Bryant, the man who did more to integrate the south than all the civil rights activists put together. A fitting tribute to him is that the entire city of Birmingham is now an unsafe metropolis that Fortune 500 companies once headquartered there have fled from. But at least some of those Black kids play football and might be worth a look for a scholarship.

So thanks to beloved coaches like Mark Richt, Phil Fulmer, Tommy Tuberville, Houston Nutt, Steve Spurrier, Nick Saban and Urban Meyer, there devotion to Black-Run America (BRA) might mean success on the football field, but the continued tolerance of the destruction of most major cities in the south and the lowering of academic standards to coddle athletes who can’t even pass a rigged sociology course.

Chances are, Steve Spurrier would never ask that the BYU Honor Code be implemented at USC. Then again, college head coaching legends like Tom Osborne (who was elected as a Republican in Nebraska) covered up Black criminality so his team could be successful on the field.

And a journeyman joke in Rick Neuheisal (who ruined Colorado’s program) turned a blind-eye to Black criminality while at Washington, because those Black players were leading his team to the Rose Bowl (read Scoreboard, Baby). Read this article about Colorado’s efforts to recruit Black athletes:

It’s no secret Boulder and CU are not culturally diverse communities. Following the off-field controversy that occurred at CU this spring, a handful of football players, four black and two white, transferred for various reasons. One question raised in the wake of the transfers is if it will become more difficult for CU to recruit African-American student-athletes in the future.

Can the Colorado football program continue to recruit black student-athletes effectively? The simple answer: yes. 

To suggest otherwise is an offense to the many black players and coaches at CU, and to the many who will end up in Boulder in the coming years.
The realistic answer? Yes, but. 

In order to continue to make the CU campus an attractive place for black student-athletes, the football program, the athletic department, the university and the community need to make changes. 

Some of the challenges in recruiting African-American athletes to CU mirror the challenges in recruiting a diverse population to the university as a whole. 

Diversity
The University of Colorado has rung the diversity bell for well over a decade now. Unfortunately, it’s created a lot of noise, but not a lot of diversity on campus. Especially underrepresented at CU-Boulder are African-American and American Indian populations. 

The black student population at CU has hovered on the underside of 500 for years. Last school year, the number was 448. 

That’s simply not good enough, according to former Colorado football coach Bill McCartney. 

“Diversity has been such an important part of the culture of America,” he says. “There’s absolutely no way that you can examine the numbers (at CU) and then say we’re doing everything we can.

League-wide issue
The problem of diversity in higher education — or, certainly, at Big 12 universities — isn’t confined to Boulder, however. 

Edwin Harrison is Director of Finance for Harris County in Houston. His son, Edwin Jr., is a student at CU and a redshirt-freshman on the football team.
Harrison points out that NCAA statistics show the total black student population at all 12 Big 12 schools combined is roughly 13,000. 

“Obviously, any of these schools you go to, the black population is going to be small,” Harrison says.

Harrison, who is black, had no hesitation sending his son to Colorado after going through the recruiting process two years ago. Edwin Jr. will be the first of the Harrison family to attend an undergraduate university outside the traditionally all-black Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC).



“We understand that we’re minorities in this country,” Harrison says. “Whether you like it or not, if you’re going to be successful, you’re going to have to assimilate. You’re going to have to be as adept at doing what the majority does as you are doing you what your particular group of people does. That’s just a fact of life. You’ve got to get over worrying about it, and figure out what to do, because it’s not going to change.”

Academics
Just as big a concern for the football program’s ability to recruit top athletes, no matter their race or cultural background, is the looming possibility of more stringent academic requirements.

In the past, 20 percent of the student body at CU has been granted admission through the so-called academic window, meaning they did not have the requisite GPA and/or test scores, but showed some unique skill in another area. A much higher percentage of student-athletes have been admitted to the university through the window than that 20 percent in recent years.

The Boulder Faculty Assembly strongly urged the CU administration to bring the academic window for athletes more in line with the rest of the student body, in wake of the off-field controversy. On top of that, the university is moving to close the window for admissions to 10 percent of admitees in the near future. 

So Sailer is wrong; the desire to win at all costs is not confined to the SEC. It’s pervasive around the nation and college football head coaches will turn around, cover-up, lower academic standards, pay for and excuse Black athletes misbehavior. It doesn’t matter if they win or not.

As long as Black players are on the field, at least the alumni will think they have shot at winning; an “our Black can beat your Blacks” mentality.

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