My former newspaper, The State, is reporting that several Gamecock football players owe money to a Columbia hotel, as the NCAA continues to look into whether the players stayed at reduced rates. Head coach Steve Spurrier said as many as six projected starters could miss games if they are ruled to have received improper benefits.
Players have been late to practices this week, or have left early, as they're interviewed in the investigation.
Reports Joe Person:
Multiple sources said some players had been living at the Whitney since the spring while paying a rate of $450 per month. But officials determined players should have been paying about $1,200 a month, and players were told by school officials to pay the difference to the hotel.
For at least two players who had not made any payments, the resolution meant they owed the hotel close to $5,000, according to one of the sources.
As many as 10 players stayed at the hotel over the summer. The projected starters include tight end Weslye Saunders, MLB Rodney Paulk, DT Travian Robertson, S Akeem Auguste, OL Jarriel King and DT Ladi Ajiboye. Cornerback CC Whitlock plays in some nickel and dime situations too.
It's not clear yet whether this will stretch until the Gamecocks' second game of the year, against Georgia. But it's obviously a situation that bears watching.