Early-season suspensions mounting for Gamecocks
COLUMBIA — It's February, but the list of early-season suspensions is mounting for South Carolina.
Coach Steve Spurrier confirmed Wednesday that big run-stopper Kenrick Ellis, in the mix to start at defensive tackle, will be out the first three games for violating an unspecified university policy.
In addition, the Gamecocks know they'll be without left tackle Jamon Meredith for the first two games because of an agreement with the NCAA related to his redshirt status during his freshman season.
Also, Spurrier said he's still awaiting word whether Mike Davis, likely the frontrunner to start at running back, will have to miss time because of missing class.
"It's not written in stone on him," Spurrier said Wednesday of Davis. "Kenrick's is definitely. The other one, let's hold on that."
On top of all that, Spurrier said he's still unsure of the Lindsey twins' academic eligibility. Both linebacker Dustin Lindsey and defensive end Jordin Lindsey, potentially rising fifth-year seniors, have been in hot water for some time off the field.
"If the Lindsey boys pass and do what they're supposed to do, they got a chance to graduate and play next year," Spurrier said. "They've got a little work to do to be eligible. But they certainly can do it. We're hoping they will. If they don't make it, it hurts your APR points."
APR measures players' abilities to remain eligible throughout their college careers.
To begin the year, South Carolina opens against North Carolina State, travels to Vanderbilt the following week and then hosts Georgia. The N.C. State and Vanderbilt games are each ESPN Thursday night games.
The game against the Wolfpack will open the entire college football season.
Spurrier said he'd spoken with Summerville's Reid McCollum in the past week.
McCollum enrolled at USC in January, but then decided he'd rather spend the spring at home before joining the team in the summer.
"Yeah, Reid will come back with all the other freshmen," Spurrier said. "He just came up and, you know, got a little homesick and realized he needed to come with all the other freshmen this summer."
McCollum will have to appeal to the NCAA to get back the short time he was on campus. Otherwise, McCollum would have to wait a week or so to join in team workouts. Spurrier said he thinks the appeal will be granted.
No admission issues
Neither Spurrier nor recruiting coordinator David Reaves identified any issues with the school's admissions policies during the recruiting season.
Spurrier went ballistic on the process in August after two recruits, Arkee Smith and Michael Bowman, were kept out of USC despite being eligible by the NCAA's standards.
Soon after, a group was put together to re-examine the process by which USC brings in special-admit students such as athletes.
Reaves said there's been a good understanding between the team and the university this time around.
"We're not going to go after the kids," he said, "unless we know they're going to meet the academic standards."
Despite signing just one new receiver, D.L. Moore, Spurrier said he'd continue to look at the possibility of moving some receivers to cornerback. Specifically, Chris Culliver might be an option to do so. Also, talented newcomer C.C. Whitlock can play either position. ... Spurrier said incoming linebacker Reggie Bowens recently had shoulder surgery that might force him to redshirt this fall. "He may come back strong and healthy," he said. "Who knows? We'll wait and see how he comes along after surgery." Bowens and Culliver were high school teammates at North Carolina's Garner High.