Columnist in Spurrier feud apologizes for remark

Ron Morris, sports columnist at The State newspaper, has written a column about his controversial criticism of Steve Spurrier and apologized Wednesday for a comment he made about South Carolina.

Last season, Spurrier refused to sit down for a press conference with Morris in the room, then Saturday did not take questions after South Carolina’s win over Missouri apparently because he objected to a column Morris wrote the week before criticizing the coach for starting banged-up quarterback Connor Shaw against UAB.

Morris wrote that he and Spurrier are not friends and it is his job to critique the Head Ball Coach.

Football coaches are hired to win football games. Sports columnists are expected to praise and critique those coaches, their teams and their programs.

It is natural for coaches — in any college town — to ask about columnists: “Who the heck are you to judge me?”

The answer is today, as it always has been: “I’m just a sports columnist doing my job.”

But Morris did apologize for a remark he made on XM radio comparing South Carolina to Penn State.

My comment on radio that connected USC’s public-relations issue with the Penn State scandal was only to suggest that college administrators have to be on high alert when it comes to coaches exerting too much influence over athletics department and university policy. That clearly was the case at Penn State.

In hindsight, any link to what happened at Penn State was inappropriate, and I apologize.

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