COLUMBIA, S.C (WACH). - Clemson football coach Dabo Swinney is downplaying comments directed at him by University of South Carolina coach Steve Spurrier at a Monday rally for injured runningback Marcus Lattimore.
More than 1,000 fans attended the event on USC's Horseshoe for Lattimore, who dislocated his knee and damaged ligaments Saturday against Tennessee.
Spurrier addressed the crowd and drew cheers from fans after addressing Swinney's praise for Lattimore as both a player and person following the junior's horrific injury. Swinney also shared his disappointment over the injury.
"A lot of quotes came across the country and I read one today from the head coach at our Upstate school," Spurrier said at Monday's rally. "You know, that school that used to beat us a lot that doesn't beat us much anymore, that one. Usually when that coach up there talks about South Carolina it's a bunch of garbage and a bunch of BS usually. But I have to agree with him on what he said the other day."
Some national analysts have called the comments "classless," pointing out Spurrier was using a somber event as a platform to take jabs at his in-state rival.
On Tuesday at his weekly news conference, Swinney said he wasn't offended by Spurrier's commentary.
"People they just need to back off the ledge. I really think he was trying to pay me a compliment. I think, " said Swinney. "I know it was kind of a round-about way of getting there. It would be kind of like me telling my wife that I really think you should wear this dress. This dress looks great on you, you don't look near as fat in that dress. I take it as a compliment. I think that's what he was trying to do."
More intense verbal sparring between the two coaches has become a hallmark of the Clemson-South Carolina rivalry in recent years as Spurrier has ramped up his rhetoric after beating the Tigers three straight seasons.
The schools face off in the regular season finale at Clemson on Nov. 24.