The reality, however, is that it's about recruiting. Spurrier apparently promised one of his top recruits, wide receiver Alshon Jeffery, that he could wear No. 2 at South Carolina, according to one of Jeffery's high school coaches. He even indicated that Sharpe was fine with it. He's not.
In the interview on 107.5, Sharpe said Spurrier called him twice about the possibility of the Gamecocks using Sharpe's number, saying the team was running out of numbers. Sharpe, whose number was retired in 1987, told him he was opposed to the idea.Sharpe had previously rejected requests from other Gamecock players, including Duce Staley, to relent the No. 2 jersey.
"Once they gave me that honor, I don't see how in the world they would audition or petition for me to give it back," Sharpe said in the radio interview. "I haven't done anything to add to those numbers, but I definitely didn't do anything to warrant having it taken down and having someone else wear it."
Sharpe told hosts Jay Philips and Duce Staley, a former USC tailback, that it would hurt to see his jersey being worn again. "If it happens, I will go through a mourning period," he said. "My guts will definitely be ripped out."
South Carolina's only Heisman winner, George Rogers, does not seem to care if No. 38 is unretired. He would, however, like it go to a particular member of the incoming recruiting class -- his nephew, linebacker Chaun Gresham.
When Spurrier became the coach at Florida, he wanted his own uniform number unretired, so it isn't like this is a hypocritical move by Spurrier. Like every other coach, he just does not want to lose any advantage when it comes to recruiting. Players like to have their number whenever possible. That is why more programs are just honoring the player, rather than pulling their number out of circulation.