CLEMSON - Tommy Bowden says he isn't worried about who might soon be the head coach at the University of South Carolina. All he's concerned about is the guy who's there now.
Bowden, like most every other college football fan, has heard the seemingly endless rumors surrounding Steve Spurrier taking over the Gamecocks' football program from Lou Holtz. But he's heard about it second hand, rather than through television, newspaper or radio accounts.
Thursday, Bowden said he's spending too much time preparing for Saturday's game versus USC to worry about who might be coaching there next year.
"If I'm not here (practice) I'm in meetings," he said. "I come in in the dark, leave in the dark. I sit in a daggone cave all day. We watch the South Carolina tape, we don't watch soap operas or ESPN. I don't even know how much the players keep up with that stuff.
"I'm worried about the Hall of Famer, national championship guy there with 250 wins. That's who I'm worried about. He's pretty good himself. I've got my hands full with him."
One thing Bowden did acknowledge is the fear of the unknown, which is likely plaguing USC's assistant coaches while the rumors fly.
Having spent 25 years as an assistant coach, Bowden knows the routine well. Coaches get hired and fired every year. Rumors of hirings and firings are rampant at this time every year.
And every year, a large number of assistant coaches find their holiday spirits considerably lower than the previous season.
"I've been there several times. It puts a real damper on Thanksgiving and Christmas," Bowden said. "But that's the profession. Most everybody in the profession has been through that. I surely have several times. It's uncomfortable."
Redshirt freshman cornerback Robert Reese and redshirt junior linebacker Nigel Vaughn have been dismissed from the football team, Bowden said.
"It is neither academic or police related," Bowden said.
Bowden refused to elaborate when pressed for further information.
Vaughn played exclusively on special teams and had three tackles this year. Reese is listed as a third team defensive back.
Quote of the Day
Bowden, laughing about whether or not the Spurrier talk will be a distraction come game time:
"I don't know if it will be a distraction (for us). I think it would be moreso for (USC). Our players might be excited if he was coming here."