Nothing personal: Swinney says Spurrier 'doesn't discriminate' with verbal jabs

Asked about their frequent public exchange of barbs, Swinney noted that 'our wives get mad at both of us'

Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney talks with South Carolina's Steve Spurrier before kickoff at Memorial Stadium in Clemson.

Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney talks with South Carolina's Steve Spurrier before kickoff at Memorial Stadium in Clemson.

Kathleen Swinney and Jerri Spurrier are friends. They talk often, share news of family, and even exchange gifts.

According to Dabo Swinney, they also share an attitude: they're not happy when their men, for lack of a better description, act like boys.

Steve Spurrier is a Hall of Fame coach whose time on the sidelines has spanned five decades. Dabo Swinney is one of college coaching's rising young stars.

Their ongoing war of words has been well-documented, and that's where their wives come in.

Asked about their frequent public exchange of verbal barbs, Swinney noted that "our wives get mad at both of us."

"Coach Spurrier's only mean to me when he ain't around me," Swinney quipped. "He's always very nice when I see him at different things throughout the year, like the golf outing in the summer.

"He's always very civil."

Swinney knows Spurrier's history of irritating his opponents, especially when they're down.

"Coach Spurrier is a competitive guy, and he's got bragging rights," Swinney said. "They've kicked our tails the last several years, and that's just the way it is.

"But I don't take it personal. He doesn't discriminate. He just likes to say things from time to time. He's just having fun. That's Coach Spurrier. He's been that way forever."

The coaches have deviated from their script during the run-up to this year's game, both complimenting the other and their teams, and agreeing that the first top-10 battle in series history is good for both programs.

"We have great respect for their team, and I have great respect for him," Swinney said. "The guy's already in the Hall of Fame. What he's done as a player and a coach is well-documented, and what he's done at South Carolina is remarkable. Because that's a program that never had any kind of consistent history of winning. He deserves a lot of credit."

Should he end up with bragging rights this year, Swinney said he'll keep things low-key. He knows that win or lose, there's always next year.

"I don't think two wrongs make a right, and never have," he said. "If we win the game, we'll do it with class. We want to win because of what's best for our program. We want to win for our fan base. We want to win because it's the next game on the schedule."


Swinney said Tuesday that the Tigers' linebackers will be challenged by Gamecock tight ends - 6-5 junior Rory Anderson and 6-6 sophomore Jerrell Adams.

"Any time you've got 6-5 type guys who can run, it's a challenge," Swinney said. "Those are match-ups you have to win. They've made plays against people who've had guys there. They love to run verticals with those guys, and both of them can really run.

"We'll have to be smart with our coverages."


The Tigers will carry on with game preparations, but will deviate somewhat because of the Thanksgiving holiday.

"When we come off the field Wednesday night, we'll have a big Thanksgiving meal, and then we'll practice a little later on Thursday," Swinney said. "When we come off the field on Thursday, everybody has to go somewhere. We've got a lot of people who are local, so they're either going home with a teammate or over to a coach's house.

"Then we'll come back in Friday morning and have our team meetings, our game-prep and lunch, and then we'll head out of here about 2 o'clock."

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Comments » 2

KIMOSAMI (Inactive) writes:

There never has been an "exchange of barbs"......who writes the headlines for AIM??? Howdy Doody?

It's always the old ball sack that does the barbing. Whether it's to Phil Fulmer, or Dabo Swinney, or Bobby Bowden, or Peyton's always just him. Not back and forth. Just an old drunk with anger/rage probllems.

He's been a remarkable coach and it's actually pretty pathetic that someone with his accomplishments has to stoop to taunting.

He is also a bully. Ask the beat writers in Columbia that cowered when he bullied Ron Morris.

tigerrob44 writes:

I, for one, don't give a rat's hiny what Spurrier and Dabo do, don't do, do to each other or do to someone else. All I know is Dabo better get it thru his head that beating SC is the most important thing around Clemson and that is the majority not the minority that thinks that way. Beat them and who cares what Spurrier says.

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