3 Gamecocks sit on academic bubble

Wallace, Hail and Lindsey will practice only on weekends for the rest of spring

jperson@thestate.com April 1, 2008 

USC coach Steve Spurrier has told three players to serve as weekend warriors until they get their grades in order.

Tailback Bobby Wallace, defensive back Chris Hail and linebacker-turned-tight end Dustin Lindsey will concentrate on academics during the week before rejoining the team for weekend practices the rest of the spring.

“Those guys that are on the bubble, there’s no sense in them practicing if they’re not going to be here next year,” Spurrier said Monday. “So we’re trying to ensure they’re going to be here.”

Wallace, a senior from Conway, was the Gamecocks’ leading rusher in Saturday’s scrimmage with two carries for 26 yards. Lindsey, who missed the 2006 season after failing out, is sidelined after three knee surgeries the past year. Hail has played sparingly.

Spurrier said the Gamecocks could lose “one or two” scholarships when the NCAA’s academic progress rates (APR) are released this spring. For the first time, teams below the NCAA’s threshold could lose as much as 10 percent of their scholarships — one for each ineligible player who leaves school early.

Spurrier said USC’s APR fate “may depend on those three guys a little bit.”

Gridiron bashed. When organizers called off the Gridiron Bash activities at USC and 15 other schools, they cited concerns over possible NCAA rules violations. But the NCAA said it told MSL Sports and Entertainment, producer of the event that was to combine musical performances with spring game weekends, its only concern was athletes’ participation in a for-profit venture.

After planning the event for a year and a half, the company waited until last week to check with the NCAA about compliance issues, according to an NCAA release. The release stated “organizers elected to postpone the concerts on their own accord.”

Several schools have reported lagging ticket sales. USC sold less than 1,000 tickets for a Black Crowes concert the night before its spring game.

Extra points. Defensive backs Jamire Williams (sprained ankle) and Jay Spearman (loose shoulder) missed practice. ... Spurrier said freshman tailback Eric Baker made some nice cuts.

Reach Person at (803) 771-8496.

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