Spurrier publicly excludes critical columnist from press brief - wistv.com - Columbia, South Carolina

  • Was Spurrier right to exclude Ron Morris from the press conference?

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Spurrier publicly excludes critical columnist from press conference

Spurrier explains his decision before walking out Spurrier explains his decision before walking out

COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - Gamecocks head coach Steve Spurrier publicly refused to do his weekly press conference on Tuesday if sports columnist Ron Morris remained in the room, citing "untrue" reports that Spurrier said damage the football program.

Pacing back and forth while he told reporters of his decision, Spurrier said Morris stepped over the line when he wrote a "completely fabricated" story during the spring which suggested Spurrier "poached" Bruce Ellington from the basketball team.

Morris, who analyzes USC football for The State newspaper, is often critical of the Gamecocks and Spurrier. Recently Morris blamed USC's loss to Auburn on Spurrier's coaching, calling the Gamecocks' offense "just plain bad."

But the head ball coach is no stranger to criticism, and said Morris is only the second sports reporter he's had to disassociate himself from in 26 years of coaching. "The criticism he shows me is fine, I don't mind that," said Spurrier. "I'm just not okay with stories that aren't true."

After outlining his grievances against Morris, Spurrier proceeded to give one-on-one interviews with television reporters outside the media room. When he returned to brief print reporters and saw Morris had not left, Spurrier turned around and left the media room for good.

Copyright 2011 WIS. All rights reserved.

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