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Three & Out: SEC Thoughts, News & Notes 8/25
Suspended South Carolina TE Weslye Saunders
Suspended South Carolina TE Weslye Saunders
CollegeFootballNews.com
Posted Aug 24, 2010


CFN SEC columnist Barrett Sallee shares three thoughts, comments or observations on what's going on this summer in the SEC.

Reach me via e-mail at barrettsallee@gmail.com or on Twitter @BarrettSallee



With the start of college football season right around the corner, Three & Out returns to give you a look at what's going on this summer in the SEC. In today's edition, we take a look at the the Weslye Saunders situation in Columbia, Jeremiah Masoli's waiting game and the winner of Kentucky's quarterback battle.

REALLY? THAT'S WHAT YOU'RE GOING WITH???
South Carolina tight end Weslye Saunders, one of the key figures in ongoing NCAA investigations into an agent party and living arrangements at a Columbia-area hotel, has been suspended indefinitely by head coach Steve Spurrier for violation of team rules. The knee jerk reaction that you, me and probably everybody else had was that the the suspension probably is related to the NCAA investigations.

Well, it has something to do with the NCAA investigation, just probably not in the way that you envisioned.

According to the Charleston Post and Courier, Saunders missed several team meetings Saturday morning before the Gamecocks' 10 a.m. scrimmage. When asked by coaches why he was absent, Saunders said that he was meeting with NCAA officials. So, the coaches did the logical thing and called the compliance department (you know, the people that know before anyone else if the NCAA is in town ) to find out what was going on. It turns out the NCAA wasn't in town, and Saunders wasn't telling the truth.

Saunders either needs to get an alarm clock, or come up with a story that takes more than one phone call to be proven false. I mean come on, that's like telling your dad that you got straight A's, when you know that you got C's and he's the one that checks the mailbox.

In other Gamecocks' NCAA news – safety Akeem Auguste and defensive tackle Melvin Ingram were held out of practice Wednesday. Assistant head coach Ellis Johnson said that it was related to the hotel investigation, but did not elaborate.

Lots of drama in Columbia these days. With only eight days until they kickoff against Southern Miss, the timing couldn't be worse.

THE WAITING IS THE HARDEST PART
The snail's pace in which the NCAA operates is no secret, especially during this time of year. Seemingly every day players are pulled off of the practice field with eligibility or NCAA clearing house questions. With six months between signing day and the start of fall camp, you'd think that they could work a little bit faster.

While most NCAA eligibility problems this time of year involve incoming freshman, it can have in impact on upperclassmen as well. Just ask Ole Miss quarterback Jeremiah Masoli.

The senior quarterback, who transferred from Oregon after completing his undergraduate degree, has not yet received his waiver to bypass the NCAA's one-year residency requirement for transfer students. Since Masoli is enrolling in a graduate program at Ole Miss that is not offered at Oregon, he is expected to receive the waiver and be eligible in 10 days, when the Rebels kick off their 2010 season vs. Jacksonville State.

Don't freak out Rebel fans – Masoli is going to play. That's not really the issue. The NCAA can't continue to take their sweet time to get these clerical issues resolved. In a perfect world, if a player is on-campus, practicing and preparing to enroll (or in Masoli's case, already enrolled) in class, their academic eligibility should already have been determined by the NCAA.

BLUEGRASS BATTLE COMPLETE
The three-man quarterback battle that was brewing in the Bluegrass State all summer is finally over. Kentucky head coach Joker Phillips announced Monday that fifth-year senior Mike Hartline will take the first-team snaps, beating out sophomore Morgan Newton and freshman Ryan Mossakowski.

“We feel that we have three quarterbacks that we can win with in this league,” Phillips said. “We feel comfortable with all three of them and that is a good problem to have. Right now, we feel that Mike Hartline gives us the best chance to win. He has been more efficient and is playing faster than the other two. At this point, he gives us the best chance to win.”

Hartline's stats aren't overly impressive. He's 8-6 in 14 career starts, with 15 touchdowns and 16 interceptions. Newton – his primary competitor – put up similar numbers last year in place of Hartline, after Hartline went down with a knee injury. Kentucky went 5-3 in that stretch, which included wins at Auburn and Georgia.

So what's the moral of the story? As long as the Wildcats can get the ball to running back Derrick Locke and Wildcat QB/wide reciever Randall Cobb, they can win games. As long as Hartline can do that, Kentucky will be fine.

Barrett Sallee covers the SEC for www.CollegeFootballNews.com. He can be reached at barrettsallee@gmail.com, or on Twitter at @BarrettSallee


Don't forget to check out “Y'all Play Nice” from CFN's Russ Mitchell and Brian Harbach every Thursday during the season.

2010 Three & Out Archive
Three & Out: SEC Thoughts, News & Notes – August 25, 2010
Three & Out: SEC Thoughts, News & Notes – August 18, 2010
Three & Out: SEC Thoughts, News & Notes – August 11, 2010
Three & Out: SEC Thoughts, News & Notes – August 4, 2010
Three & Out: SEC Thoughts, News & Notes – July 28, 2010
Three & Out: SEC Thoughts, News & Notes – July 21, 2010
Three & Out: SEC Thoughts, News & Notes – July 14, 2010
Three & Out: SEC Thoughts, News & Notes – July 7, 2010
Three & Out: SEC Thoughts, News & Notes – June 30, 2010
Three & Out: SEC Thoughts, News & Notes – April 21, 2010
Three & Out: SEC Thoughts, News & Notes – April 14, 2010
Three & Out: SEC Thoughts, News & Notes – April 11, 2010
Three & Out: SEC Thoughts, News & Notes – April 8, 2010
Three & Out: SEC Thoughts, News & Notes – April 5, 2010
Three & Out: SEC Thoughts, News & Notes – March 31, 2010
Three & Out: SEC Thoughts, News & Notes – March 28, 2010
Three & Out: SEC Thoughts, News & Notes – March 24, 2010
Three & Out: SEC Thoughts, News & Notes – March 21, 2010
Three & Out: SEC Thoughts, News & Notes – March 18, 2010
Three & Out: SEC Thoughts, News & Notes – March 15, 2010
Three & Out: SEC Thoughts, News & Notes – March 11, 2010
Three & Out: SEC Thoughts, News & Notes – March 5, 2010
Three & Out: SEC Thoughts, News & Notes – March 2, 2010

Click Here for the 2010 blog archive

Click here for the 2009 regular season Three & Out archive


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