Steve Spurrier is claiming that a Big Ten school used negative recruiting against South Carolina in an effort to lure a prospect away from the Gamecocks. "The player came with us anyways, " quipped Spurrier to the Altanta Journal-Constitution, but that's not preventing the Head Ball Coach from harboring some unresolved bitterness over the situation.
"We don't run into much of any negative recruiting around here as SEC coaches," Spurrier said. "We were involved with a player who was being recruited by a Big Ten school. They got negative a little bit with ‘There's a lot of crime in Columbia, the big city. They don't graduate their players,' which was completely untrue."
There are two schools that meet the criteria of being a member of the Big Ten and having lost a recruiting battle to South Carolina. Four-star cornerback Chris Lammons chose the Gamecocks over Wisconsin, and three-star defensive end Blake McClain flipped from Nebraska to USC after telegraphing the switch several hours earlier via his Facebook account.
So this means that South Carolina was the subject of negative recruiting at the hands of either this gentleman or this one. (I'll put my money on the especially shouty fellow.) The Gamecocks have a combined record of 2-0 against Wisconsin and Nebraska in the past three seasons, having dispatched both the Badgers and the Huskers during a pair of appearances in the Capital One Bowl.
Though still not an especially dignified negative recruiting pitch, it's worth noting that the matter of surging violence in Columbia does have some basis in fact. South Carolina defensive coordinator Lorenzo Ward acknowledged last November that the gang violence in Columbia's Five Points bar district is something that he's had to answer for on the recruiting trail.
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