So here's some bullshit: According to a report by Jim Romenesko, South Carolina Gamecocks head football coach Steve Spurrier has the power to bully a newspaper into silencing any reporter that he doesn't like.
For years now, Spurrier has had an ongoing, petty feud with The State's Ron Morris. Throughout the course of this feud Spurrier has done plenty of childish things. In 2011 he refused to answer questions at a press conference while Morris was in the room, and in 2012 he responded to one of Morris's more critical columns by threatening to quit. According to Romenesko, that last incident led to Morris being instructed by his bosses to stay out of all of Spurrier's press conferences. He also had to write an apology column.
And now, this:
“The publisher of the paper has removed Ron from any coverage of the football program, which down there is akin to the Washington Post not letting Dan Balz write about government,” one of Morris’s former colleagues told me. “Effectively, he’s being forced out at the behest of the football coach, with the publisher not standing up for him.”
Morris declined to talk to me, but others familiar with the situation — including former University of South Carolina and State staffers — described how The State’s publisher made his veteran columnist agree in writing that he would never again write about Gamecocks football or talk about the USC program on TV and radio shows.
“It was a journalism restraining order,” said one of Morris’s ex-colleagues.
It gets worse. Morris is being replaced on the Gamecocks beat by self-described "superfan" Glenn Snyder. And guess who freely admits to helping Snyder land this new gig: Steve fucking Spurrier.
“I did call The State newspaper and put in a good word for him, and they hired him,” the coach said. He added that he talked to publisher Haitz, who is “good friends with [longtime Gamecock Radio Network announcer] Tommy Suggs. I met [Haitz] through Tommy.”
We can't wait to read what will surely be The State's exemplary coverage of the Gamecocks this year.