I certainly don’t feel sorry for Steve Spurrier, but I’m beginning to appreciate why he continues to insist that his team hasn’t been distracted in preseason camp. It’s about the only line he can take.
Consider what he’s been working through:
- Weslye Saunders has been suspended for almost a week with no indication when he might return.
- Lingering injuries to key performers like fullback Pat DiMarco, a team captain, and linebacker Shaq Wilson, the Gamecocks’ leading tackler last season.
- Defensive coordinator Lorenzo Ward, in charge of the secondary, worked Tuesday without starting safety Akeem Aguste and backup cornerback C.C. Whitlock.
- Defensive lineman and captain Ladi Ajiboye was late to that session because of what assistant coach in charge of defense Ellis Johnson said were issues about the hotel.
South Carolina hasn’t heard from the NCAA yet, but expects to before its opener Thursday night against Southern Miss.
And that doesn’t even count the self-imposed uncertainty of the quarterback battle between Garcia and Shaw.
Of course, if this is really what Southern Miss is counting on, all the distractions in the world won’t matter.