Team supports Saunders

jperson@thestate.comJuly 22, 2010 

SEC Media Days Football

South Carolina head coach Steve Spurrier talks to the media during the Southeastern Conference football media days on Thursday, July 22, 2010, in Hoover, Ala. (AP Photo/ Butch Dill)

BUTCH DILL/AP

HOOVER, Ala. -- As the NCAA investigation into players attending a Miami party seems to include more schools every day, South Carolina coach Steve Spurrier provided an update on the Gamecocks' player who is part of the probe.

Spurrier said he spoke briefly with tight end Weslye Saunders, who maintained his innocence.

"He told me he's done nothing wrong," Spurrier said Thursday. "So we'll let it play out."

NCAA investigators are trying to determine whether an agent paid the flight and hotel costs for players who attended a South Beach party in May. Besides Saunders, others in attendance were Alabama defensive tackle Marcell Dareus and North Carolina defensive tackle Marvin Austin, the central figure in the investigation, according to published reports.

"The question is, who paid for it? Who paid for what they did while they were there?" Spurrier said. "When the investigation is finished, I guess we'll find out about all the guys."

USC fullback Patrick DiMarco said Saunders has continued working out since news of his role in the investigation surfaced Sunday. Saunders met with a NCAA investigator last week.

"He's been at every single workout. He hasn't missed a beat," DiMarco said. "With all the stuff going on, he's been at the workouts, busting his butt and making all his conditioning times and doing everything that's asked of him. He's in a tough situation right now. Hopefully it works out for him."

Reach Person at (803) 771-8496.

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