For something that’s not supposed to be a distraction, the Whitney Hotel sure is distracting.
The NCAA interviewed South Carolina football players last week about their residency at a Columbia hotel — an arrangement that apparently will end soon.
At least three players have been staying at Whitney Hotel in the Shandon area for several months, and NCAA investigators are trying to determine whether they received a cheaper rate than what is available to the general public. If so, that could constitute an extra benefit.
Tight end Weslye Saunders, who remains at the center of an NCAA investigation into potentially illegal contact with an agent, is one of three known players with rooms at the Whitney. Offensive tackle Jarriel King and defensive tackle Travian Robertson are the others.
An athletics department official told at least one of the players to move out of the hotel, according to a source close to the situation.
USC coach Steve Spurrier said Saturday he did not ask players to leave but indicated some might be checking out of the hotel.
Maybe they found nicer accommodations.
I still don’t sense that this is too much of a big deal…
“Anyone can poke around our program. We don’t have anything to hide. Poke on everything — the hours we practice and train,” Spurrier said. “They can poke on everything we do. And our compliance people poke, too.”