Spurrier: Cook Guilty By Association
Details were still emerging Friday night, but it is believed that James Gore, a student at South Carolina, was showing the gun to Cook, when police observed the pair. Gore hid the gun in the glove box of a car when questioned by the authorities. Cook revealed that the gun was in the car, and Gore directed officers to the glove box. Cook has claimed not to know Gore prior to the event, but both were arrested for possessing a weapon on campus. The charges result in an automatic suspension from USC according to university rules.
Spurrier expressed his disappointment with what happened to Cook, but refused to chalk it up to bad luck.
"He got himself in the situation," Spurrier said. "Maybe I haven't emphasized ‘Don't be around guns' enough. I didn't know the rule. I didn't know if somebody hands you a gun and you hand it back to him, you're outta here. Now we know it, but I don't think any of our guys were [aware]."
Spurrier went on to say he supports the rule, even though he did not realize the severity of the punishment.
"We say no guns, but we don't emphasize it as much as never hitting a girl or no drugs," he said. "It's a good rule. You've got to treat those things like a rattlesnake. It was sad the way it happened. I know he is out of school, any time you've got a gun in your hand, you're out of here, and I agree with that. Obviously we are hoping the circumstances will come forward that he didn't know exactly what he was doing and it wasn't his. He will have his hearing, and we'll go from there."
Because Cook is suspended under university policy, not team or athletic policy, he is not allowed to attend class. Because Cook cannot attend class, Spurrier is more concerned about his academic future than his football future.
"I just hope he is in school," Spurrier said. "We'll worry about the games later. He is a good young man that obviously was at the wrong place at the wrong time. He doesn't have a history of this kind of stuff, that I know of. You've got to choose your friends, and supposedly the gun was not his, but he was with a guy with a gun. You're guilty by association [like] we all are. We try to tell our guys to choose the right company."
Fullback Bryan Kingrey rewarded with scholarship
There was some positive news Friday night that was nearly overshadowed. The Gamecocks are shy of the NCAA limit of 85 scholarships, so Spurrier rewarded walk-on fullback Bryan Kingrey with a scholarship. The junior fullback from Raleigh started against Georgia last season, and saw action in five games.
Spurrier likes to reward athletes that work hard in practice and hard in the classroom, and he said Kingrey does both of those things.
"Bryan's been out here busting his tail for three years," Spurrier said. "In the scrimmages he's in there all the time. When all the running backs get hurt, he plays tailback. He's a good special teams player [who] blocks on field goals and extra points. Bryan Kingrey was our most deserving athlete, and we were able to put him on."
For his part, Kingrey said the day may have been the best day of his football career.
"It's a big enjoyment," he said. "My parents probably love it even more than I do because they've got one less person to pay for now."
"I'm real happy about that. I'd just like to thank all the coaches and my parents for pushing me and working hard. I'm just real thankful for Coach Spurrier and what he's allowed me to do."
Kingrey played at a private high school, so he flew under the radar during recruiting, saying he "didn't have many offers." He considered going to one of the smaller schools that expressed an interest, but chose Carolina instead.
"I just wanted to play somewhere big and have fun doing it," he explained.
He thanked his parents for the effort they put into providing for his education, saying they worked "many hours and many years" to pay for his tuition. Now his parents only have to pay for his brother's tuition. His brother is a freshman at Carolina, and Kingrey said he will try to get him on scholarship someday also.
"I'm going to try to see if I can get him to walk on," he smiled.
- Jasper Brinkley and Mike Davis are both still expected to return to practice on Monday.
- In addition to Kingrey, linebacker Dustin Lindsey was put back on scholarship. Lindsey lost his scholarship when he flunked out of school in 2005. He paid his way through school last year to become eligible again, so the staff is rewarding him for his desire. "We're taking a chance on Dusty," Spurrier said. "He flunked out once here, and he better not again."
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