The NCAA put its foot down last month when Will Muschamp wanted to hire former Gamecocks star Marcus Lattimore as an adviser to players.
Lattimore, one of three Marcus Lattimore Foundation founding members, was determined by college football’s governing body to possess an unfair recruiting advantage because of his off-the-field community work.
While that decision very likely disappointed Muschamp, South Carolina’s first-year coach wholeheartedly expressed his support for Lattimore’s efforts when addressing the media during the SEC spring teleconference Wednesday.
“I think any time you are able to have a former student-athlete a part of your staff that can go through the ups and downs that a student-athlete goes through that can experience having been on campus academically and on campus socially, that can relate to your players is very important. That’s very important,” Muschamp said. “Marcus is still going to be a part of what we do. He’ll be a Gamecock forever.
“When you have a foundation that does benefit prospective student-athletes, you can’t have that a part of your organization. And what Marcus is doing is wonderful,” Muschamp said. “It’s wonderful work for the state of South Carolina and he’s making a difference in so many people’s lives. I totally endorse what he’s doing.”
According to its web site, the Marcus Lattimore Foundation is “committed to youth development programs and initiatives which emphasize Christian values, character, life-skills development, education, recreation, and health and wellness.” Part of the foundation’s efforts center around sports safety-related research activities.
The 24-year-old Lattimore compiled 2,677 rushing yards and 38 rushing touchdowns at South Carolina before his college career ended in 2012.
Odds and ends:
- Muschamp revealed that South Carolina will be one of the many SEC schools holding satellite camps this summer, with locations likely planned in Georgia, North Carolina and Florida. “Those are places we need to pinpoint, and we’ve got a good plan for moving through those areas,” he said.
- Muschamp discussed his decision to re-hire offensive coordinator Kurt Roper, who held the same position during Muschamp’s final season at Florida. Roper spent 2015 as a senior offensive assistant for the Cleveland Browns before reuniting with his old boss this winter. “I saw the fundamental teacher, I saw a good play-caller, I saw a good staff guy that works well with other people. I feel like he’ll do a great job schematically where we will be very similar to what we’ve been before here, which I think makes it an easier transition for our players, which I think will get better results earlier in our tenure,” Muschamp said. “The experience he had last year with the Cleveland Browns was invaluable for him.”