USC quarterback Blake Mitchell arrested, suspended indefinitely - - Columbia, South Carolina

USC quarterback Blake Mitchell arrested, suspended indefinitely

Blake Mitchell Blake Mitchell
Kylan Ertzberger Kylan Ertzberger

(Columbia) September 14, 2006 - South Carolina quarterback Blake Mitchell is scheduled to have a court hearing Friday morning on simple assault charges.

An incident in Columbia's Five Points early Wednesday led to an arrest warrant for Gamecocks quarterback Blake Mitchell, 21. Mitchell turned himself in Wednesday afternoon and was released on his own recognizance.

According to the incident report, Mitchell is accused of simple assault.

The report describes the incident as starting at 1:45am when Blake asked the alleged victim, Kylan Ertzberger, if Kylan liked him. Kylan, the report says, told Blake that he did not have a problem with Mitchell, but Kylan said he did not like Blake entering Pavlov's with underage girls. 

Kylan, who is a bouncer at Pavlov's and a USC student, tells officials that when he turned away after that, Mitchell punched him in the left eye.

Athletic department spokesman Steve Fink says Mitchell has been suspended indefinitely from the team by coach Steve Spurrier. Spurrier says he was disappointed Mitchell got into what he called "a little fight." Spurrier says Mitchell is suspended from playing, but will remain on the team.

After Wednesday's practice, coach Spurrier said he wanted to wait for all the facts to come in before judging Mitchell's actions.

"Blake got into a little scuffle. I don't know all the details, but I heard the other guy pressed charges so we suspended him until it was all cleared up," said South Carolina head coach Steve Spurrier. "He's under suspension right now until all the facts come in. We'll make a later decision exactly what to do."

"I was disappointed he got into a little fight. If he was out with his girlfriend and he wasn't drunk or whatever...that's what college kids do," said Spurrier. "I went to college once. But we were in before 1:30. In our day, 12:00 was a late night."

Mitchell, a junior, came to South Carolina before the 2003 season and had started 11 games last season and both contests this year.

Spurrier said he was not ready to announce who would replace Mitchell at quarterback for the start of the Wofford game. The backup quarterback is freshman Chris Smelley, although senior receiver Syvelle Newton has thrown 139 passes in his Gamecock career.

Spurrier added that Mitchell has a finger injury and probably wasn't going to play this Saturday against Wofford.

"He probably was not going to play this week anyway," Spurrier continued. "He hadn't practiced much. He had a little bit of a bad finger, so he wasn't really in our plans this week to be honest with you. We'll give some other guys a chance to play quarterback."

This is not the first time a starting Gamecock quarterback has gotten into trouble. In 1993, Steve Taneyhill was arrested for underage possession of beer at a party the night after the Gamecocks defeated Georgia 23-21 in Athens.

He pleaded no contest and performed 30 hours of community service in exchange for having the charge removed from his record.

Students react
With Mitchell's arrest being a hot topic, is USC's image suffering? WIS' Scott Hawkins posed that question to students on campus Thursday morning, and they had some solid opinions about the Blake Mitchell story's effect on their school's reputation. But those opinions varied from person to person.

Mitchell's legal problems, resulting from an alleged fight with a bar bouncer, are just the latest in what has been an embarrassing couple of seasons for the Gamecocks, and while the USC community and football fans are buzzing about Mitchell's arrest, does anyone care on the national level? Is it the talk of the town in the NCAA, or even in the SEC?

USC senior Sabrina Thompson had this to say, "There are bigger schools than USC and bigger athletic teams, like, you know, UNC, Michigan, Kentucky, USC is big here, but everywhere else, there are bigger schools. I don't think people are going to make a big deal out of this. It's not going to be on ESPN or something."

Brian Glosh, a USC junior, said, "Steve Spurrier is the coach and all of a sudden has an out-of-control player and so you can see how that will probably start a lot of talking."

Kaitlin Gilbride, a sophomore at USC, "Oh, I'm sure. I'm sure that people that follow football - college football - no matter what age or what they're doing, have heard about it and are following the story."

Mitchell is scheduled to appear in court Friday morning. Count on WIS News 10 and for the latest information as it becomes available.

Updated 12:37pm by Chantelle Janelle with AP

WIS News 10 Sports
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