TE Saunders a no-go for Gamecocks' opener


It’s long been assumed that South Carolina tight end Weslye Saunders would miss at least the season opener as the NCAA’s dual investigation has slowed to a crawl due to the expanding probe.

Today Saunders was official ruled out of Thursday’s game with Southern Miss, although not because of any NCAA-mandated sanctions.  Now the question becomes how many more games the senior will be forced to sit out.

For now, though, it’s just the one game.

He’s not on the team.  He won’t play Thursday,” head coach Steve Spurrier said according to Chris Low‘s ESPN.com SEC blog.

Saunders has been suspended since Aug. 23 for violating unspecified team rules unrelated to the twin probes.  It’s been reported that Saunders lied to coaches regarding his whereabouts after missing team meetings, resulting in a suspension that’s yet to be lifted.

The Gamecocks could be without additional players due to the NCAA investigations, however.  Spurrier said the school has yet to hear from the NCAA regarding any penalties for players involved in a hotel brouhaha.  The school is hopeful they will hear something definitive from the NCAA before the opener.

The coach also reiterated his stance that the school will not fight what if any punishment the NCAA decides to dole out and will simply move on.

“We will accept what the NCAA says and move on,” Spurrier said. “I don’t believe in distractions. If a guy gets hurt, the next guy has to go play. Whatever team is out there Thursday night, that’s our team. They will be expected to go play well.”