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      Steve Spurrier accuses program of negative recruiting

      COLUMBIA, S.C. (WACH) - South Carolina's Steve Spurrier says he still experiences negative recruiting, but it doesn't generally come from other SEC schools.

      Spurrrier told the Atlanta-Journal Constitution this week that plenty of teams try to push potential recruits away from South Carolina by convincing them that he is on the verge of retirement. But, that's the mild stuff. Spurrier says schools from outside the Southeastern Conference have ramped up their rhetoric.

      The head coach says an unnamed Big Ten school did much more when making a pitch to a recruit both programs were interested in signing.

      "We were involved with a player who was being recruited by a Big Ten school," Spurrier told the Atlanta-Journal Constitution. "They got negative a little bit with, 'There's a lot of crime in Columbia, the big city. They don't graduate their players,' which was completely untrue. They searched for a little bit of everything."

      The player, who Spurrier did not name, ultimately signed with South Carolina on National Signing Day last week.

      As for his age, Spurrier continues to maintain that he isn't going anywhere.

      "Physically and mentally, I'm the same as I was 20 years ago," Spurrier said. "I probably do more as a head coach than 90 percent of the guys out there, as far as game day and calling the plays. There are not many head coaches who call the plays anymore. So really, age is just a number."

      South Carolina opens spring practice the first week of March.

      (The Atlanta-Journal Constitution contributed to this report.)