Association upset by hiring process
COLUMBIA, S.C. -- The Black Coaches Association wants prospective football recruits and assistant coaches to stay away from South Carolina because the school ignored the group's recommendation for a more open coaching search.
The group's director, Floyd Keith, told The Associated Press on Tuesday that South Carolina never contacted the BCA. The group sent the school search guidelines before Steve Spurrier was hired to replace Lou Holtz last month.
"There was an announcement and a hire," Keith said. "That was so fast that a jackrabbit couldn't have had a family between all that."
Three of the five black college coaches -- Notre Dame's Tyrone Willingham, New Mexico State's Tony Samuel and San Jose State's Fitz Hill -- won't be back with their schools next season.
The BCA first announced its plans regarding South Carolina in The Chronicle of Higher Education.
South Carolina athletic director Mike McGee said the mission of the BCA is important to college football. However, he said administrators faced a brief time frame to land someone as prominent as Spurrier.
Keith said South Carolina administrators should have shown the same consideration he's seeing from other schools with openings.
One athletic director, Keith said, visited his Indianapolis office to discuss its search. University of Mississippi chancellor Robert Khayat has said administrators are working closely with Keith's group as it looks to replace David Cutcliffe.
Keith said his group hasn't gotten a response from the Gamecock athletic department since Spurrier was brought on board.
"In my opinion and in the opinion of my association, what this says to us is they don't care," Keith said. "We want athletes and parents of color to start taking stock in the process that institutions take in choosing coaches."
Keith had nothing but praise for Spurrier.
"It's not about him," Keith said. "This is about the process."
McGee said in a statement there were "unusual and extraordinary circumstances that we faced" when Holtz decided with several weeks left in the season to step down.
"We had the opportunity to replace an accomplished and national championship coach with another," McGee said. "The window for that to occur was clearly uncertain. It certainly was not the normal type of coaching transition that an institution faces."
Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press