Felder will return to USC, Martin makes decision on basketball

Updated: Dec. 29, 2017 at 10:43 AM EST
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Frank Martin updated the status of former point guard Rakym Felder on Friday morning.

The suspended Gamecocks guard has received the approval from Martin and other university representatives to return to school in January, but the decision has been made by Martin that Felder will not play basketball this season.

"Rakym and I have gotten to a good place. My bosses and I have had that conversation. Everyone is on board with him becoming a part of our school again starting here in Janaury," Martin said via teleconference. "That date has not been set. I have made the decision Rakym will not play this year. There are certain things I'm asking Rakym to do before I allow him to be a part of our day-to-day basketball team again. Those are things I am keeping in private for now."

Felder was suspended from the team in August following an arrest in Five Points. He has not been in school at South Carolina since the incident, suspended indefinitely shortly after. He was also arrested in October 2016 in another incident in Five Points.

Martin added Felder will not be available to the media during "this stage".

"He made a bad mistake. A mistake that hurts me deeply. But at the same time, I've got an 18-year-old son. I want whoever my son ends up trusting in during his college career, I would want that coach to deal with him, to discipline him, but at the same time, not throw him out there to the wolves," Martin said. "Rakym has dealt with pain for his mistakes in a serious manner. He understands that, I understand that, his teammates understand that. We will allow him back, and me, no one else, made the decision he will not play this year. He understands."

As a freshman last season, Felder played some of his best basketball towards the latter part of the season. He averaged 5.6 points and 1.5 rebounds per game for the entire season as well as 1.3 assists in 36 games played with one start.

The Gamecocks will start SEC Play on December 31 on the road against Ole Miss, a 6 p.m. tip on ESPN2.

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