Saunders suspended

The saga that has been Weslye Saunders' offseason took another twist Monday when the Gamecocks' senior tight end was temporarily suspended for a violation of team rule, according to South Carolina head football coach Steve Spurrier.

Saunders has been at the center of an NCAA investigation into whether he and several players from other programs received illegal benefits from agents. The NCAA was also reportedly looking into whether or not Saunders received a special living rate at the Whitney Hotel in Columbia.

"Weslye wasn't out here tonight," Spurrier said. "So Weslye has been temporarily suspended for a violation of team rules. His status will be determined at a later date."

Spurrier pointed out that the suspension had nothing to do with the NCAA investigation or the Whitney Hotel. Asked similar questions about Saunders, Spurrier did not offer any more information about the situation choosing to talk about football instead.

"We had a so-so practice tonight," Spurrier said. "Not too bad. Nobody got hurt so it was ok. We're just trying to get ready for Southern Miss. We started talking about them a little bit. We'll sort of gear in on them probably Wednesday or Thursday."

Patrick DiMarco was still in a yellow jersey but was back practicing in a limited capacity Monday. Spurrier also noted that Rokevious Watkins was back healthy. He says that the team isn't too banged up and should be pretty healthy for the first game.

"Jarvis (Giles) has got a bum shoulder," Spurrier said. "He's banged up, but we have a lot of running backs ready to go. When he gets well he'll get back in the mix."

The Gamecocks will start putting together a scout team on Friday, more than likely, according to Spurrier. With ten days until the Gamecocks kick off their season against Southern Miss, Spurrier says he's still in a good mood about where his team is.

"I'm more up-beat," Spurrier said. "I see a lot of guys that have improved since last year. DeAngelo Smith, Demario Bennett, those freshman receivers have done very well -- in fact, they've out-performed the other guys. For some reason they're getting all the passes; they're getting all the touchdowns."

The Gamecocks will return to the practice fields Tuesday afternoon at 4:15 p.m.

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