Geathers draws team suspension
COLUMBIA -- Echoing his statement from earlier in the day Monday, South Carolina coach Steve Spurrier expressed disappointment in defensive end Clifton Geathers' weekend arrest.
"He got himself in a bad situation," Spurrier said. "Certainly he was wrong, and we'll see what the legal system says and go from there."
Geathers, arrested just after 3 a.m. Sunday outside a nightclub, faces charges of resisting arrest, disorderly conduct and drunkenness.
Regarding football, he's suspended from the team until his legal matters are resolved. Then Spurrier said he would meet with university officials to determine a punishment.
"We're getting about four or five different versions, as we always do," defensive head coach Ellis Johnson said, adding that family members of players were present at the time of the incident. "A lot of people say it's one way, a lot of people say it's the other way."
Beyond that, Geathers also suffered an eye injury during the incident. Who inflicted the injury, or how it happened, isn't yet clear.
Johnson said Geathers, whose eye was swollen shut in the Richland County Jail mug shot, has a crack in the orbital bone around his right eye.
Geathers will see a specialist to determine if he has any muscle or nerve damage around the eye.
Spurrier said the program does all it can to warn players what can happen if they make poor decisions.
He said Columbia's police chief, USC's police chief and sheriffs from Richland and Lexington counties regularly speak with the team.
"We all know how to act," Spurrier said. "Unfortunately one from our team didn't know how to act. It's embarrassing to all of us, to our program. But we'll live it down. It's not going to damper our spirits."
In Geathers' spot steps redshirt freshman Devin Taylor, whom Johnson said was pushing Geathers anyway.
"I told our team we're going to be fired up and have good practices this week," Spurrier said. "If (Geathers) isn't here, then Devin Taylor gets his shot. If one guy's not here then the next one gets his chance."
At 6-7, 232 pounds, Taylor is built sort of like Geathers was upon arrival at USC.
Giles in clear
In addition to Geathers, Spurrier said he has spoken with freshman running back Jarvis Giles about an incident that occurred at about 3:45 a.m. Sunday morning.
Police were called to a USC dorm, where Giles had been in an argument in its lobby. But, according to the incident report, officers stayed only eight minutes before leaving.
No arrests were made and no charges were filed. Spurrier said any punishment levied against Giles would be handled in-house.
Johnson said the defense is tinkering with the idea of moving Chris Culliver to cornerback and Akeem Auguste to free safety.
The pair lined up that way in Saturday's scrimmage, but Culliver only worked at corner for a few plays.
Johnson said Auguste, who made that same move late last season, is the team's most natural safety. Culliver is one of the fastest players on the team, easily speedy enough to move outside.
The coaches will continue to experiment with those position changes, Johnson said.
Additionally, he said Antonio Allen's move to spur has gone well enough that Allen might start there early in the season.
Offensive line coach Eric Wolford unveiled his first-team offensive line Monday night.
As expected, it'll feature Jarriel King at left tackle, Terrence Campbell at left guard, Garrett Anderson at center, T.J. Johnson at right guard and Quintin Richardson at right tackle.
Wolford, however, plans to play two lines throughout each game. And the starters could change from game to game.
So Kevious Watkins, Kevin Young, Lem Jeanpierre, Heath Batchelor and Hutch Eckerson take on similar importance as backups.
— Travis Haney