Jadeveon Clowney speaks to reporters on Oct. 8, 2013.
Columbia, SC (WLTX) - South Carolina defensive end Jadeveon Clowney says he is committed to the team, despite what some people out there might think.
Clowney spoke out Tuesday night for the first time since he didn't play against Kentucky and the resulting firestorm that caused. Related Coverage: Spurrier Says None Of Us Need to Be Upset at Jadeveon
"I know there's a lot of scrutiny going on, a lot of people talking," Clowney said. "That's what people do, talk. It gives them something to talk about."
Here's how it all started. Clowney told Head Coach Steve Spurrier and Defensive Coordinator just before last Saturday's game that he was hurting from a rib injury and couldn't play. After the contest, Spurrier said, "if he doesn't want to play, he doesn't have to play. Simple as that."
The coach's comment was replayed over and over on national media shows, and led some journalists and analysts to speculate that Clowney perhaps was thinking more about his NFL career instead of the Gamecocks.
Spurrier Tuesday said at the time he made his remark he didn't have all the information on Clowney's injury. He said the proper protocol wasn't followed for notifying the team about his status, and that the situation was poorly handled by everyone.
"It was really just a miscommunication between me, the coaches, and the trainer," Clowney said. "I should have handled it different instead of just telling him like that."
Clowney has strained rib muscles, an injury that took place during the Central Florida game but was further injured last Wednesday.
"It's bothering me, I can't really run right now," Clowney said.
He's receiving electrical stimulation from the training staff and is icing and heating it in an attempt to get better.
"I will be back on the field. I just don't know how long it's going to take me to get back, but I will be back playing."
And while his body's on the mend, he's also having to do a little healing to his reputation, especially after some suggested he put himself above his fellow Gamecocks.
"I've always been about team, regardless of what people say. I've been about my team my whole life. I dedicate myself to my team and this university. That's why I chose to come here."
Spurrier came to his defense as well Tuesday, saying that people should be "thankful" and "appreciative" that Clowney came to Columbia.
"I'm here," Clowney said. "I could have sat out. I'm not looking to sit out. I'm not that type of guy. I'm here for the team, I'm here to work with the team and when I get back healthy they know I'm going to come out there and play and do my job and take care of business on the field."