Football Notes Heading Into Week One 2003

Notes from the final dark period weekend of the 2003 Summer in Columbia. The coaches are ready, the players are ready, the new prospects are ready and we are absolutely sure the fans are ready too ....

* Coach Holtz reiterated the fact that the staff is anxious to get started next week. "I can't tell you what kind of team we will have," said Holtz. "But, I do believe this will be an exciting team to watch."

* Coach Holtz said he was confident in turning over the offensive reins to assistant head coach Skip Holtz. "I told Skip to run it however he wants," said Coach Holtz. "He and I differ somewhat when it comes to offensive philosophy, but he can run it wide open if he wants to."

* Coach Holtz said that it was still undetermined if wide receiver Matthew Thomas would be fully reinstated to the team. Thomas has been under suspension since his arrest in the spring on charges of simple assault. Thomas had been accepted into the Pretrial Intervention program and according to Holtz, had completed all of the necessary requirements set forth by that program. "I'm told he's done everything he is supposed to have done. We'll just have to wait and see."

* When asked about what he had heard regarding the NCAA's looking into the South Carolina program, Holtz said: "I feel comfortable with how we run and operate our program. I understand they have been looking into some things, exactly what, I don't know. They (the NCAA) have a responsibility and I am sure they are doing what they need to do in carrying out this responsibility."

* Holtz said he would like to see the NCAA administer the assigning of officials to college games. "I'd like to see the NCAA take over the officiating aspect of the game," said Holtz. "Instead of having crews from different conferences, I'd like to see the NCAA act as a clearinghouse for all officials."

* The Gamecock team reports Monday. The first practice is Tuesday. The season opener is Aug. 30 vs. Louisiana-Lafayette (7 p.m.).

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