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Pay players $300 per game, Spurrier proposes

Even Steve Spurrier doubted his proposal would be passed. But the South Carolina coach wanted to get it out there anyway.

The former Gators coach suggested players receive $300 per game to pay for expenses, a cost that would come out of the coaches' pockets. Or at least some.

Six other coaches signed Spurrier's proposal, which was presented to the athletic directors at the Southeastern Conference spring meetings on Wednesday.

"A bunch of us coaches felt so strongly about it that we would be willing to pay it, 70 guys, 300 bucks a game. That's only $21,000 a game," Spurrier said. "I doubt if it will get passed, but as a coach in the SEC, we make all the money as do universities, colleges, and we need to get more to our players."

Spurrier's showed his proposal to the media, then folded it and put it in his pocket. Besides Spurrier, Florida's Will Muschamp, Alabama's Nick Saban, LSU's Les Miles, Mississippi State's Dan Mullen, Mississippi's Houston Nutt and Tennessee's Derek Dooley signed the proposal.

All SEC coaches except Kentucky's Joker Phillips make at least $2 million annually. Vanderbilt recently hired James Franklin, who was the offensive coordinator at Maryland, but it is a private school and does not report its coaches' salaries.

Franklin was one of five coaches who didn't sign Spurrier's proposal, along with Phillips, Arkansas' Bobby Petrino, Auburn's Gene Chizik and Georgia's Mark Richt.

Although it was more of a gesture than something the conference is likely to pass, Spurrier wanted to make a point. Legislation of this nature would have to come from the NCAA level, Florida AD Jeremy Foley said. And it would have TitleIX implications, as well.

Spurrier made his point anyway.

"I just wish there was a way to get our players a little piece of the pie. It's so huge right now," he said. "As you know, 50 years ago, there was not any kind of money and players got full scholarships. Now they're still getting full scholarships and the money's just in the millions. I don't know how to get it done. Hopefully, there's a way to give our guys that play football a little piece of the pie."

Phillips said the proposal was received well and that coaches talked about a way to get players "some type of expense money."

"Just us having a dialogue was important," he said. "It wasn't a real standard deal, so I wasn't willing to put my name on anything that wasn't set in stone."

Miles agreed, saying coaches are looking for a way to close the gap between the cost of attendance and the amount awarded in full scholarships.

"I think Steve Spurrier makes a good point with the proposal," he said. "In the actual workings, I think it's flawed. But I'm for starting that dialogue. It opens the door."

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