COLUMBIA, SC -- Sunday afternoon’s flare-up at the end of the fourth inning of South Carolina’s baseball game against Georgia had repercussions.
USC third base coach Sammy Esposito and strength and conditioning coach Billy Anderson were given one-game suspensions Monday by the NCAA as a result of their ejections from the game.
NCAA rules state that "personnel other than the head coach ejected for disputing, arguing and unsportsmanlike conduct" will be suspended. Esposito and Anderson will serve their suspensions during Tuesday night’s South Carolina-Presbyterian game.
Their ejections also serve as an official warning to the SEC, which has its own suspension policy. Players, coaches and team representatives receive a written warning for the first ejection with a second ejection leading to a next-game suspension. That would only be triggered if Esposito and Anderson are tossed out of another game.
Suspended personnel can’t dress for the game, communicate with any team members or umpires, take part in any pregame activities, or be in the stadium or on the field once pregame activities have started.
The ejections occurred after USC’s Joey Pankake was thrown out attempting to steal third base. As Esposito questioned the call and the Georgia players ran off the field toward the third-base dugout, heated words were exchanged.
The verbal altercation saw Esposito and Pankake engage much of Georgia’s team, especially second baseman Nelson Ward, in response to the inning-ending play. It later heated up just before the start of fifth inning began the USC dugout got into some back-and-forth yelling with Georgia first base coach Jason Jacobs, who also was ejected from the game and suspended Monday by the NCAA.
USC coach Chad Holbrook had no comment about the suspensions.
-- Neil White