COLUMBIA, S.C. — Call it the Head Ball Coach media blackout.
South Carolina coach Steve Spurrier refused to take questions for a second straight session with the media, doubling up Sunday on the trend he began during Saturday’s postgame session after the sixth-ranked Gamecocks defeated Missouri 31-10.
Spurrier started his regularly scheduled Sunday teleconference as always with about a five-minute review of the previous day’s contest, an update on player injuries and a look ahead to the Gamecocks next opponent, Kentucky.
And then Spurrier said, “I believe that covers it all. I don’t need to take questions.”
Spurrier hung up as callers began to protest.
South Carolina athletic spokesman Steve Fink did not want to speculate Sunday about why Spurrier wouldn’t take questions.
There was little indication Saturday that Spurrier’s move to end his postgame session with the media before answering questions would continue. He seemed good-natured and jovial after the sixth-ranked Gamecocks (4-0, 2-0 Southeastern Conference) won their eighth straight game over the past two seasons.
Spurrier joked his quarterback Connor Shaw, who was 20-of-21 passing and connected on his last 20 throws, “got off to a slow start. Missed his first one, I think.”
Spurrier even spoke gratefully about one of his former bosses in Pepper Rodgers, the former Kansas and UCLA head coach who Spurrier credited with giving him a job calling plays at Georgia Tech and starting him on his stellar coaching career. Rodgers was visiting Spurrier this week and spoke to the Gamecocks.
“Wonderful victory,” Spurrier said. “And we’re happy to get it. I’ll let the players come on it now. OK.”
With that Spurrier got up and left without taking questions from dozens of waiting reporters and TV cameras.
It’s not the first time Spurrier changed up his usual media routine. Last season, Spurrier would not hold his regular Tuesday media session because he did not want to speak in front of a local newspaper columnist he was upset with. The session was posted on YouTube and has been viewed close to 400,000 times.
Spurrier had said he wouldn’t speak to reporters in the future as long as the columnist was in the room, but returned to his regular spot in front of cameras, recorders and microphones a week later, pledging to be more positive.
That’s been hard for several college football coaches.
Southern California’s Lane Kiffin cut short a media session this past week when he became irritated about a question involving an injured player who had returned to practice. The school has banned media from reporting injury news that comes from watching practices. Kiffin was back a day later answering all questions.
Alabama coach Nick Saban took his media to task two weeks back for being too positive about the Crimson Tide’s play. Saban was upset about coverage that made his top-ranked club seem unbeatable and did not give that week’s opponent, Western Kentucky, a chance.
Alabama defeated Western Kentucky, 35-0, on Sept. 8.
Spurrier is scheduled to speak to reporters again Tuesday to preview South Carolina’s road game at Kentucky (1-3, 0-1).