Whitlock suspended again after arrest

jperson@thestate.comMay 26, 2009 

Less than a week after being reinstated to the team, USC cornerback C.C. Whitlock has been suspended again following a weekend arrest near his hometown of Chester.

Whitlock, 20, was arrested early Saturday morning and charged with trespassing following an incident at a nightclub in Blackstock near the Fairfield and Chester county lines, according to a spokesman with the Fairfield County sheriff’s department.

Chief deputy Keith Lewis said Whitlock and four other men were arrested after authorities were called to Club 330 on Highway 321 around 1:15 a.m. The owner of the club, security personnel and deputies asked Whitlock to leave several times, but he refused, according to Lewis.

Lewis said the owner told deputies Whitlock was involved in a “disturbance” at the club a week earlier. When Whitlock returned early Saturday, the club owner asked him to leave.

“They had a problem up there about a week ago, a disturbance, and the owner of the club felt like Whitlock was involved in that problem and he just didn’t want him there,” Lewis said.

Whitlock arrived at the club with four men in one vehicle. Lewis said deputies found alcohol in the car when it was towed, although there were no alcohol-related charges filed.

Three of the men were arrested on disorderly conduct charges; Whitlock and another man were arrested for trespassing. Lewis said the five men, all from Chester, were booked at the Fairfield County jail.

A jail spokeswoman said Whitlock was released Saturday on a personal recognizance bond.

USC media relations director Steve Fink said Gamecocks coach Steve Spurrier had not heard about the incident until Monday when reporters began calling Fink. Under USC athletic department policy, athletes who are arrested are immediately suspended, Fink said.

Spurrier announced last week he had reinstated Whitlock after the sophomore missed most of spring practice while under academic suspension. Spurrier said Whitlock and defensive tackle Ladi Ajiboye are to be suspended at least one game this season.

Spurrier said he would “see how they do between now and the season” before announcing the length of their game suspensions.

Attempts to reach Whitlock on Monday were unsuccessful.

Whitlock was one of five players who brawled with non-students in September during a fracas at the food court of the Russell House. No charges were filed in that incident.

Whitlock moved from receiver to corner and played in nine games as a freshman. He missed several practices to deal with personal issues: He has told reporters he has three young children in Chester.

If eligible, Whitlock is expected to add depth in the secondary behind starting corners Stephon Gilmore and Akeem Auguste.

Reach Person at (803) 771-8496.

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