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July 24, 2009

Spurrier admits he left Tebow off All-SEC ballot

HOOVER, Ala. – The investigation is over.

South Carolina coach Steve Spurrier has acknowledged that he was the culprit who did not vote for Florida quarterback Tim Tebow on the coaches' preseason All-SEC football team.

Spurrier, who like Tebow won a Heisman Trophy as a Florida quarterback, said it was a mistake. He said there was a miscommunication between him and Director of Football Operations Jamie Speronis, who filled out and sent in Spurrier's ballot.

Tebow, the 2007 Heisman recipient, was named the first team quarterback by 10 coaches. Coaches are not allowed to vote for their own players, so players receiving 11 votes are unanimous selections.

"I didn't do much voting at all. I didn't fill the sheet out," Spurrier said Friday morning. "I thought 'Some coach made a serious, dumb or careless mistake by not having Tim Tebow as the first selection.' When all this came out and I read in the Thursday paper I thought 'Who was that?'

"Our director of operations filled (the ballot) out, I looked at it and signed off it. (Later) I asked him, certainly we had Tim Tebow. He said, actually coach we had (Ole Miss') Jevan Snead.'"

Apparently, Speronis voted for Snead because he already had 10 Florida players on the ballot.

"It's my fault. I take full responsibility," Spurrier said. "I apologize to Tim Tebow because we should not have messed it up."

Spurrier, who said he had trouble sleeping last night when he found out what happened, phoned Charles Bloom of the SEC office to ask if he could change his vote. Bloom allowed it, so technically Tebow now joins Tennessee safety Eric Berry, LSU tackle Ciron Black and Alabama receiver Julio Jones as unanimous selections.

"I made a mistake," Spurrier said. "Tim Tebow is not only the best quarterback in the league, I think he's the best football player in the country."

Olin Buchanan is a senior college football writer for Rivals.com. He can be reached at olin@rivals.com.

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