The State columnist Ron Morris is writing Steve Spurrier and USC football again

On Thursday, The State — McClatchy’s newspaper in Columbia, SC — told Ron Morris that he was once again allowed to write about University of South Carolina Gamecocks football and Coach Steve Spurrier. (Early in the year, the veteran sports columnist was ordered by publisher Henry Haitz III to pledge in writing that he’d never mention the team and its coach again.)

On Sunday, Morris had two columns about Saturday’s Gamecocks game. One was about the game’s length and the other was the team’s defense (“progress was made”). I doubt Spurrier had a beef with either.

I couldn’t get anyone from The State to talk to me — even on background — when I was working on my story about the paper’s treatment of Morris. Now that the piece has been posted and the paper has changed its policy, State staffers are getting in touch with me. One sent a “statement of support” that was given to newsroom bosses nearly a year ago, after they told Morris he could no longer ask questions at Spurrier’s press conferences. Here it is:


* The State tells its sports columnist he can’t write about USC football (