COLUMBIA -- Both junior safety Akeem Auguste and junior cornerback C.C. Whitlock missed practice Tuesday. Both were "in meetings" regarding the situation involving The Whitney hotel, South Carolina defensive head coach Ellis Johnson said.

"They're cooperating with the process we're going through right now," Johnson said. "I'm sure that's what they were doing. Exactly what they were doing, I don't know. But we're just getting through the process."

Coach Steve Spurrier did not make himself available Tuesday, allowing Johnson to address reporters.

It's unclear whether the players that were staying at the hotel -- a group that included tight end Weslye Saunders and offensive tackle Jarriel King -- will be punished by the NCAA. Johnson said he's received no clearer picture of that than anyone else.

"All we know are there are a lot of possibilities," he said. "That's as much as we've been informed."

Johnson was miffed last week that Auguste missed part of a scrimmage, because of the situation. He said it had become distracting.

He was more at ease talking about everything Tuesday -- at least as far as Auguste and Whitlock missing practice.

"I don't know how big of a problem that is," Johnson said. "Those guys have all been playing three years, if not more. That's not a major issue. We just hope we'll have them and be prepared to play Southern Miss."

The Gamecocks' opener is eight days away.

Saunders 'speaks'

Saunders did open the line of communication to friends and fans Tuesday, posting a couple of updates to his Twitter and Facebook accounts in the wake of his indefinite suspension for lying to coach Spurrier.

"Thanks to real fans who know and support me," Saunders tweeted. "I love my coach and teammates. This matter will be resolved before you know it."

On Facebook, Saunders had more pointed comments about those reporting the details of his suspension.

The Post and Courier learned that Saunders lied to Spurrier about why he missed part of practice Saturday. He told coaches he was speaking with NCAA investigators when that wasn't the case.

"How ironic that I'm a journalism major," Saunders wrote. "Yet it's the journalists that portray me as this bad, egotistical nuisance on the team. I'll ride this storm out, though."

Saunders has been at the heart of an NCAA investigation involving contact with agents since the middle of July.

Extra points

Sophomore RB Jarvis Giles (shoulder) was still in a yellow jersey Tuesday, but he was wearing pads. He might be nearing a return. … Neither Johnson nor LB Shaq Wilson had an update on Wilson's bad hamstring. He's practiced just 1 1/2 practices during camp, Johnson has said. Quin Smith and Tony Straughter continue to fill in for Wilson at WLB.