The Columbia, S.C. State sports columnist Ron Morris won't be covering South Carolina football anymore. After getting under the skin of Gamecocks head coach Steve Spurrier on more than one occasion, Morris has been barred by publisher Henry Haitz III from writing anything about the Gamecocks, per jimromenesko.com.
Spurrier refused to speak with reporters while Morris was in the room on occasions in 2011 and 2012, saying in 2011 that the columnist was a "negative guy." The coach recently spoke with Jim Romenesko and explained his reasoning for the reaction to Morris:
"Ron Morris just wrote stuff that wasn't true about me and I reacted," Spurrier told me over the phone last Thursday. "I was fine with him the first five or six years here, and then he would write stuff that wasn't true."
Did he complain to The State's publisher? I asked.
"I complained to the world about him. I complained to Gamecock Nation on my radio show. But don't put that on me" that Morris can no longer write about Gamecocks football. "He is responsible for that."
While Morris won't be able to cover South Carolina, the State hired Glenn Snyder on contract to write about the Gamecocks. As Romensko notes, Snyder loves the University of South Carolina, and the coach and he "have become friends." In fact, Spurrier said he called the newspaper to put in a good word for Snyder:
"I did call The State newspaper and put in a good word for him, and they hired him."
With such a friendly face covering the beat, the Head Ball Coach shouldn't have any problem with questions coming from the State's new writer.