|John Bazemore / Associated Press|
|His commitment is being questioned, and Jadeveon Clowney's coach isn't exactly lending his support.|
With a night's sleep and time to think more about his star defensive end sitting himself out a victory over Kentucky on Saturday, South Carolina coach Steve Spurrier was asked Sunday if Jadeveon Clowney was committed to the Gamecocks.
Still clearly perturbed, the ol' ball coach deferred the question back to Clowney.
"You will have to ask him that. I can't speak for Jadeveon. You will have to ask him that," Spurrier told reporters at a news conference.
That's not exactly dousing the flame with water. Lighter fluid, perhaps.
Spurrier was miffed with Clowney Saturday night when asked why Clowney did not play against the Wildcats. Clowney was announced as the starter, and although he didn't practice Thursday, the Gamecocks coaching staff expected him to play. What got under Spurrier's skin, the coach said Sunday, was that he was caught off-guard by it.
"We didn't know he wasn't playing until right before the game," Spurrier said. "That is always a little frustrating. Usually the trainer or doctor comes and tells you this guy is out, and that did not happen last night. But on the other side, if a player is in pain and can't play, I don't want him to play. None of us do."
South Carolina plays at Arkansas on Saturday. The Gamecocks will monitor closely how Clowney practices this week.
"Hopefully with treatment and so forth he will be well enough to play this coming week but we will see," Spurrier said. "It's not a big story. He was in pain, couldn't play. We will see if he's going to be in pain and not play, or not in pain and can play this week."
Common protocol for injury status in college football is pretty simple, and logical. First, team medical staff clear or do not clear a player to practice or play. If the player is not medically cleared, the conversation is over until the following week. If the medical staff clears the player, the decision of whether to play tends to be between player and coach. Spurrier's description of events clearly indicates Clowney was medically cleared, but the flow chart ended there.
Spurrier deferring questions about Clowney's commitment, however, place Clowney's commitment in doubt until he does one of two things: Addresses the matter with the media, which the school doesn't have to make him available for, or answers the question on the field.
Follow Chase Goodbread on Twitter @ChaseGoodbread