BIRMINGHAM - It was the SEC's version of "America's Most Wanted" - who was the mystery head coach…
Spurrier Amends Tebow Ballot After Frenzy
Steve Spurrier flew from Columbia to Birmingham with his players Eric Norwood and Moe Brown to talk about their team and the upcoming season at the 2009 SEC Kickoff event. He just had to get one "little" issue out of the way first.
Unlike the nine coaches that preceded him and were peppered with questions about the vote, Spurrier didn't have to be asked, bringing it up as he took the podium. "As I've been asked several times, I need to address it right now, who did you vote for. In actuality, I didn't do much voting at all. I didn't fill the sheet out. But, anyway, my answer was some coach made a pretty serious mistake, either dumb or careless mistake, by not having Tim Tebow as his first selection."
"Our director of operations (Jamie Speronis) filled it out and brought it in to me one day. I looked at it quickly. I said, that's fine. I signed off on it." Spurrier continued. "When all this came up Wednesday and in the Thursday morning paper, I read, some guy did not vote for Tim Tebow. Who was that?
"I called him (Speronis). I said, certainly we had Tim Tebow. He said, well, actually, coach, we had Jevan Snead. He said something about we already had 10 Gators, maybe get another guy. I said, that's bad. But it's my fault. I take full responsibility. I messed that up. I apologized to Tim Tebow. We screwed it up pretty badly. I'm embarrassed about it. I feel bad about it. That's the way it happened."
Spurrier said he called Charlie Bloom at the SEC offices, asking if the South Carolina selection could be changed to Tim Tebow. Bloom said yes, and Spurrier said, "I was able to put Tim Tebow in today, so it's unanimous."
Spurrier went on to heap high praise on Tebow: "I know some of you may think that's maybe not right, but we made a mistake there. I made a mistake. Tim Tebow is not only the best quarterback in this league; I think he's the best in the country. I think he's the best football player in the country. What he's done there, I believe he and Danny Wuerffel will go down in history as the two best quarterbacks, maybe the two best to ever play college football. That's how good he is.
"I admire and respect him. I apologize to him. He should have been on that ballot. We messed up. I messed up. I'm trying to correct it best I can. But I messed it up. I take full blame for it. That's the way it happened. That's the way it happened. We'll try to move on. I still feel very badly about what happened there."
Tebow is well-known for living out Christian principles, of which forgiveness is a primary one. Tebow has undoubtedly already forgiven Spurrier after their call. The issue will fade quickly in South Carolina, but may linger longer with Gator fans in Florida for the former UF coach. Columnist Mike Bianchi asked in his column if Spurrier has "gone from Gator to Traitor?" We'll all know by the kickoff of this season's UF-USC game.