Report: Doughty, Walker Remain on Team

Forty-eight hours after Saturday's crushing 17-16 defeat at the hands of the Florida Gators, the Gamecocks returned to the practice fields on Monday evening to begin preparations for this weekend's home match up against Rick Stockstill's Middle Tennessee State Blue Raiders.



Coach Steve Spurrier met with the media following Monday's workout, but the big news of the day was not the aftermath of Saturday's loss to the Gators, nor was it Rick Stockstill's upcoming return to Columbia as Head Coach of the Blue Raiders. The focus of the day dwelled upon sophomore defensive end Dakota Walker and junior defensive tackle Stanley Doughty, who were both rumored to have left the team recently. It turns out that was the case with Walker, who took a brief hiatus from the football program last week. Coach Spurrier acknowledged that both players had expressed their frustration about lack of playing time and had considered transferring, but he was pleased to report that both Doughty and Walker ultimately have decided to remain on the team. "Two of our lost children are back in the fold for right now. I think Dakota had a change of heart, and we're giving him a second chance. He's on his last chance, and so is Stanley. Hopefully their attitudes will improve and (they will) try to be excellent student-athletes," said Spurrier. The Ball Coach continued by saying, "Sometimes when some players think they should be playing more than they are, they think a transfer is the answer. Then they talk it over with some people and realize that they're just running away from their problems. I think a lot of people told him he needed to stick it out. So we'll see. Hopefully he will. He's one of the best athletes on the team."

The focus then shifted to this weekend's match up against Middle Tennessee State. Spurrier praised Stockstill, who was an assistant coach at USC last season, for the job that he has done in his first year as the head man at MTSU by saying, "(They are a) pretty good team - 7-3. Of course Rick Stockstill is there. They're a game away (from winning their conference). They've had an excellent year - bowl eligible. It will be a difficult game, as all of ours are."

One week ago, Spurrier openly criticized the officiating during Carolina's 26-20 loss to the Arkansas Razorbacks. However, he was recently reprimanded by SEC commissioner Mike Slive for those comments, and Spurrier vowed on Monday that his days of publicly questioning the officiating are over. "I deserved it. I'm glad I got it, and I'm not talking about the refereeing anymore this year. Sometimes when you have to defend your players, you get one of those. It's not the first one I've ever had. I hope it's the last," said Spurrier.

NOTES:

- Junior running back Cory Boyd suffered a broken bone in his hand during Saturday‘s game against Florida, but he finished the game despite the injury. Boyd practiced on Monday, while sporting a soft cast on his hand.

- Junior linebacker Cody Wells injured his left bicep against the Gators on Saturday and was not able to practice on Monday. He is listed as questionable for Saturday's game.

- Sophomore running back Mike Davis missed Monday's workout due to a boil on his thigh.

- Coach Spurrier talked about the recent hiring of Butch Davis at North Carolina by saying, "He's a good coach. I know Butch a little bit. He'll do well there, no question about it."

- Spurrier will hold his weekly press conference on Tuesday afternoon, and the Gamecocks will return to the practice fields for another workout later that afternoon.

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