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Just Like Old Times...


Mark
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God, I love it.

 

Steve Spurrier has yet to coach a game on the Gamecocks sidelines, but he's already playing them again with longtime SEC rival Phil Fulmer.

 

?He needs to take care of his own house. He's got plenty of issues over there.?? Phil Fulmer

 

And this time the Tennessee coach is playing them, too.

 

On Thursday, Fulmer fired back at the South Carolina coach for calling out the Volunteers the day before for their latest off-the-field incidents.

 

"He needs to take care of his own house. He's got plenty of issues over there. We've had a lot worse things than this that we've gotten through," Fulmer told reporters after practice. "I don't [care] one way or the other what anybody says except the people that count."

 

Eleven Volunteers players have gotten in trouble with the law in the last 14 months; four were charged with assault in the last week, stemming from two separate fights on campus.

 

?I'm glad he's listening to us. In the past, I don't think he'd worry about what a South Carolina coach said, do you? ?

? Steve Spurrier

 

However, Spurrier, who replaced Lou Holtz in November, inherited a program with its own problems. Nine current or former players have been arrested since January, and a 10th player was dismissed from the team for violating the drug policy. Only two of those nine are still on the team.

 

In defending one of those players -- receiver Syvelle Newton, who was accused of punching another student last weekend before the criminal charges were dropped -- Spurrier pointed west to Knoxville.

 

"I guess at one time somebody accused [Newton] of slapping him or something," Spurrier said Wednesday. "But this was not a full-blown fight. If you want to read about some full-blown fights, read about the Tennessee players, not our guys. We've not had any knockdown, drag-out fights amongst our players."

 

The coaches' verbal dueling dates back to Spurrier's days at Florida, when he would poke fun at the Volunteers with legendary barbs like "You can't spell Citrus without UT," referring to the four appearances the Volunteers made in the Citrus Bowl while Spurrier was racking up six SEC titles and the 1996 national championship.

 

"That doesn't bother me one bit," Fulmer said. "He's got plenty to do, I'm sure. Maybe it rained that day and he didn't get to play golf. I don't know."

 

When told of Fulmer's retort, Spurrier laughed and said there were no hard feelings.

 

"I like ol' Phil. Phil's all right," Spurrier told The State of Columbia, S.C. "He's a good guy. We get along fine. It's no big deal. ... I'm glad he said something. I'm glad he's listening to us. In the past, I don't think he'd worry about what a South Carolina coach said, do you?"

 

Spurrier faces Tennessee for the first time as the Gamecocks coach when they visit Knoxville on Oct. 29.

 

ESPN Story

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