USC running back Demetris Summers dismissed from team

Published: Mar. 2, 2005 at 12:07 AM EST|Updated: Mar. 13, 2005 at 2:04 AM EST
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Demetris Summers
Demetris Summers

(Columbia) March 2, 2005 - Demetris Summers was considered one of the University of South Carolina's star players, but he now is no longer a Gamecock.

USC has confirmed the rising junior was kicked off the squad. Coach Steve Spurrier says Summers was dismissed for a rules violation. He would not discuss details.

In a statement from USC, head coach Steve Spurrier says, "There are certain policies and rules that our student-athletes must follow and unfortunately, Demetris chose to violate those. That's where we are with this and we'll move on from here."

The athletic department has not issued further comment on the nature of the violation of team rules.

On the very day Spurrier was introduced as Carolina's new coach, WIS News 10 spoke to him about the issue of bad behavior. It was only three days after the big brawl in Tigertown and just one day after the theft of property at Williams-Brice Stadium.

The Old Ball Coach told WIS he has no qualms about laying down the law, "I like to think so. We're not going to have problem guys. I hope I don't have to run anybody off, but sometimes that's helpful."

The move is not surprising as he recounted a story about his Florida team only two days away from their biggest game of the year, "Sugar Bowl '94 or '95. We were at the dinner, the team dinner, one of them hit one of the guys in the face with a glass, there was blood everywhere. So, we kicked both guys off the team. We didn't have any more fights after that."

It's likely whatever Demetris has done won't be repeated. There's a long running story about Spurrier's three golden rules: no fighting, no cheating and no drugs. In Summers case, we don't know if any of the rules were violated, and now it looks like we may never know just how good a football player he might've been at USC.

Summers hails from Lexington, South Carolina, and graduated from Lexington High School. He gained national attention as the state of South Carolina's all-time leader in high school career rushing yards (9076) and in career touchdowns scored (127).

Jimmy Sattefield always kept a close eye on his star tailback at Lexington High School. Summers is the product of a broken home and Satterfield looked after Summers like he would his own son, trying to steer him in the right direction, "Back then we wouldn't go a day without talking to him, helping to keep him focused."

By Summer's sophomore season, his long runs were becoming the stuff of legend. Wildcat Hollow was his own personal playground, but what he did away from the field always kept his coach on edge. Satterfield says Summers' choice of friends, back then and today, were questionable at best, "It's just predictable when they come from a tough environment like that. It's just hard to get away from it."

The coach says in retrospect sticking close to home may not have been the best idea with intense adoration by USC fans mixed with sky high expectations and all too familiar surroundings. Still, Satterfield had hope that Spurrier could make a difference. That is until Monday when Satterfield was called by Spurrier himself and told the bad news, "He called and was real nice about it. And I said, 'I know Demetris can frustrate you.' Someone said in order to make it work with him you have to care about him. I said, 'No, you have to care about him a lot, a whole lot, cause he can frustrate you.'"

Summers rushed for 487 yards last season with an average of 5.5 yards per carry with 65 yards receiving. He was hampered by injuries in the '04 season and sat out two games.

As a freshman in 2003, he appeared in 11 games with eight starts at tailback. He was the team's second leading rusher with 638 yards on 124 carries and three touchdowns. His per carry average was a solid 5.1 and he averaged 58 yards rushing per game. He had 12 receptions for 146 yards and two touchdowns.

He was also named to the SEC Coaches All-Freshman squad.

Reported by Mark Quinn
Updated 5:14pm by
BrettWitt