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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."