Freshman wide receiver Damiere Byrd is happy to be finished with his four-game NCAA suspension and wants to leave it in the past.
“Whether I did anything wrong or not, the ruling is the ruling and I have to accept that,” he said after Wednesday’s practice. “I am just ready to play. I am putting everything behind me. I am just ready to play and that’s it.”
Byrd is expected to make his collegiate debut Saturday against the Tigers. He was expected to play in the first game of the year until he was ruled ineligible by the NCAA, which alleged he received $2,700 worth of recruiting inducements and extra benefits from the SAM Foundation, a non-profit organization near his home in New Jersey.
Byrd first learned he was in NCAA hot water on Sept. 2, the day before South Carolina opened the season against East Carolina. He declined to say if he was interviewed by the NCAA as part of its investigation.
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“These past four weeks have been like an extended preseason for me,” he said. “I am pretty much ready to be out there on the field and put on that Gamecock uniform. It’s been hard, but my teammates help me a lot, my family and we have a good support staff here at South Carolina so it’s been not as hard as you’d think.”