Over his 10 years as South Carolina football coach, Steve Spurrier has had at least one well-known non-negotiable:
Strike a woman and you forfeit your right to be a Gamecock.
That policy caused Spurrier to dismiss two players over the past decade. He was asked about the policy Tuesday, in light of the video that surfaced this week of former Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice punching his then-fiancée, a decision that might cost Rice his NFL career.
“The only good thing about that video is people around the country are shocked that this does happen,” Spurrier said.
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The shock value of the Rice video, which surfaced on TMZ, brought dramatic repercussions. Rice initially was going to serve a two-game suspension levied by the NFL. Once the video became public, the Ravens cut Rice on Monday and the NFL changed his suspension to “indefinite” status. There’s speculation Rice might never get another chance in the league.
Spurrier said he doesn’t understand why his view regarding domestic violence isn’t the norm everywhere.
“I’ve had a rule long as I’ve been here that if you hit a girl, you won’t play. You’re finished,” Spurrier said. “We’re not going to have any player on our team who has done that and I can’t understand why every coach doesn’t have that rule. Why every company doesn’t have that rule for its employees.
“I think that would put a pretty good end to this stuff. It’s amazing that America has sort of put up with it, compromised, but it’s something that shouldn’t ever happen.”
Spurrier said he understands the need to let due process play out, but he won’t compromise on how his players treat women.
“I would think every coach would have that rule, but I don’t think they do. They say, ‘Let’s wait and look at the situation’ and this, that and the other,” Spurrier said. “You do have to (weigh circumstance), but once you know it’s happened” you must act.