Suspended cornerback C.C. Whitlock has been cleared by USC athletics director Eric Hyman, although the sophomore still has a couple hurdles before he can return to the field.
Hyman said it was still up to coach Steve Spurrier to reinstate Whitlock to the team and that the player has to become academically eligible.
“His situation resolved in the court system. So therefore, based on that, he was released to football and to academics,” Hyman said. “They take whatever approach they feel necessary from this point going forward.”
It was not known whether Spurrier would clear Whitlock. Attempts to reach Spurrier on Tuesday were unsuccessful.
Whitlock received an automatic suspension in May after being arrested on a trespassing charge near his hometown of Chester. He was found not guilty on June 17 but was not cleared by Hyman until recently.
Spurrier has said that Whitlock would be suspended at least one game this season if he was reinstated.
Whitlock started spring practice as a second-team cornerback but was placed on academic suspension and missed most of spring drills. He was briefly reinstated to the team before his arrest in May.
Whitlock has had a rocky time since arriving on campus last year as a highly-rated prospect. He missed several practices while dealing with personal issues in Chester. He played in nine games, tallying one tackle and one pass break-up.
“I haven’t played football since last year, man. I’ve just missed doing what I love doing the most,” Whitlock said last month after his acquittal. “I’m just ready to get back out there and show these coaches what I can do.”