Saunders comments on NCAA investigation, suspension

COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - Several South Carolina football players received discounted rates to stay at a local hotel.

The State newspaper reported Thursday the players were given discounts lower than those available to the public, which could be considered an extra benefit in violation of NCAA rules.

Players received a rate of $450 a month while school officials determined the cost should've been about $1,200 a month. The players were asked to pay the difference to the hotel. Gamecocks coach Steve Spurrier told the players last week to pay their bills and find other living arrangements.

Spurrier said Wednesday South Carolina would not dispute any penalties given out by the NCAA.

Suspended tight end Weslye Saunders has talked to the NCAA about his attendance at a party in Miami this past May.

The NCAA is investigating to see if Saunders has received any extra benefits, which would be a rules violation. Saunders also managed to get himself suspended by coach Steve Spurrier for breaking team rules.
   
We haven't heard from Saunders on any of this until Friday. Saunders issued a statement to Columbia radio station 107.5 the game, and one of their announcers read it on the air.

"I love the university and my coaches," said Saunders. "Allegations of this being all about me and being a me-first guy and trying to bring the team down are false. Coach Spurrier and I are on good terms. We did have a misunderstanding, but that's all cleared up now. I couldn't have more respect for Steve Spurrier or Eric Hyman. I understand perception is reality and people will see what they want to from the outside. But what they see is not the case on the inside."

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