Notes and quotes from South Carolina football

Columbia, S.C. - USC head football coach Steve Spurrier said Thursday that he and his coaching staff are "embarrassed" by the recent missteps by a few members of the Gamecock football team...

On Tuesday, starting tailback Demetris Summers was dismissed from the squad for violating athletics department policy, while on Wednesday, defensive end Moe Thompson and defensive tackle Kevin Mainord were suspended indefinitely from the team after burglary charges were brought against them by campus law enforcement. "We will let the legal process take its course and go from there," said Spurrier. "As I've said before, we can't control everything these players do all the time. However, we can control who plays and who puts on a uniform. If these charges hold true, they won't play for us again, I can assure you of that." Coach Spurrier said he was disappointed in the choices these players had made. "It's a slap in the face to our program. They are the ones who made the decisions and they are the ones who will have to suffer the consequences. Hopefully, they will get their act together so they can transfer and continue their career somewhere else."

Coach Spurrier said that the team is having a good semester academically so far. "It's been reported to the coaching staff that our players are doing a good job in the classroom this semester," said Coach Spurrier. "Some of them didn't do so well last semester. A few of the players really needed to buckle down this semester and so far, they have."

Spring practice begins March 19. Coach Spurrier said the first "4-5" practices would be open to the public. The Garnet and Black Spring Game is set for Saturday, April 16 at 1 p.m.

Coach Spurrier said that junior Cory Boyd, who had thought about moving to wide receiver for the spring, has now asked to move back to running back. With Summers' dismissal, Boyd is expected to line up as the starter heading into spring drills.

Coach Spurrier said that he has visited with Syvelle Newton and that Newton expressed an interest of moving back to the wide receiver position for spring practice. Recruited as a quarterback by Coach Lou Holtz and his staff, Newton played wide receiver in 2003, catching 22 balls for 277 yards, before moving back to quarterback last spring. He started five games at quarterback last season and was the team's leading passer, completing 70 of 131 passes for 1,093 yards, six touchdowns and six interceptions. "You look at Syvelle last season, and he is such a talent running with the football," said Spurrier. "We were looking at the Alabama film this morning, and he really was a handful running with the ball. I expect him to start out at wide receiver during the spring. We'll have a quarterback package available for him, but receiver is where he'll start out."

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