… is when the mission starts to spread. In Columbia, Agentgate begets Hotelgate:
The NCAA is investigating the living arrangements of several South Carolina football players at a Columbia hotel, according to two sources close to the situation.
Investigators in town this week have questioned players about staying at the Whitney Hotel, a seven-story property located along the Devine Street shopping corridor in the Shandon area.
Tight end Weslye Saunders, who has been the focus of the NCAA’s investigation of USC, is one of at least three players with rooms at the Whitney, The State confirmed…
And you can’t help but feel that Spurrier is whistling in the dark to some extent when he says this:
… After confirming the NCAA’s interest in Saunders last month, Spurrier has said little about the investigation. He would not comment Thursday on the NCAA’s presence around his program, except to say it has not been a distraction.
“We don’t have any distractions around here,” he said. “We’re trying to learn how to block and tackle. That’s the only thing we need to worry about — blocking and tackling and throwing to the right guy.”
Of course, it helps if everybody’s around for that.
… A couple of USC players said they have tried to maintain a normal routine this week, even as players have been excused from meetings and other team activities to meet with investigators.
No wonder he’s PO’d at John Blake.