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Steve Spurrier With The Free Lesson For Frank Beamer

The Head Ball Coach offers a lesson in letting go and moving on

Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports

The "HBC" has officially left the building.  In a surprising move Spurrier decided to hang 'em up mid-season.  It has caused a ripple effect nationally.  Some talking heads agreed with the move, citing a program first mentality.  Other pundits are calling Spurrier to task that he "quit" on his players.  On the Dan Patrick Show, Spurrier admitted that if the 'Cocks were 4-2, he may not be having this conversation.  Spurrier is an ultimate competitor.  He realized that after ten plus years fighting the good fight, he had become a liability for the program.  During his presser he alluded to the negative recruiting that was leading to a dearth of talent in Columbia.  It is really difficult to convince an 18 year old kid that the 70 year old head coach will be there in five years.  It' must be incredibly hard to walk into the living room of a recruit and sell them on a future, when the focus is so clearly on the past.  Steve Spurrier perhaps knew it was time.  he always said that when he was hurting the program he would walk away.  He said that "I was the best coach for this job 11 years ago, but I'm not today."  Tough stuff to hear.  It is really hard to see a legend walk away from something he so clearly loves.

That statistic is hard to imagine.  In both the coaches' long and storied histories, they never faced each other.  When U.S.C. struggled to beat U.C.F., Spurrier knew that it was over.  When Virginia Tech lost to East Carolina, Frank Beamer called it an exhibition.  I have never made millions of dollars doing what I absolutely love, so it's hard for me to say "walk away".  I am not a coach of a program.  I have not won a Heisman trophy.  I haven't led the Hokies out of the tunnel onto Worsham field.  It must be incredibly hard to ride off into the sunset and let all that go.  It must especially hard with other people's future depending on you.

I have always been of the mindset that Beamer is very cognizant of his place and legacy.  Someone who attended the Ohio State game mentioned to me that it felt like a "thank you card" to Beamer.  Was this the beginning of the end, or more praise for a coach that has earned the right to leave with dignity?  When you compare resumes with Beamer and Spurrier, the ultimate difference maker to me is a national championship.  One could argue that Spurrier is better simply because he lifted THREE programs to prominence.  Beamer took Virginia Tech to unimaginable heights.  As always, I feel the best lessons learned are the ones you didn't pay for.  South Carolina and Steve Spurrier just rang the bell.