And we use the term “suspended” very loosely, hence the quotation marks.
As we noted earlier in the week, the SEC had decided to allow South Carolina to mete out any punishment — subject to league approval — it deemed fitting for an on-field incident this past weekend. Early in the loss to LSU, defensive tackle Kelcey Quarles was caught on camera punching a Tiger player in the face(mask) after the two had tussled during a first-quarter play.
Showing that the football program has zero tolerance when it comes to such things, the school confirmed Thursday that Quarles has been suspended for the No. 9 Gamecocks’ huge SEC East showdown with No. 3 Florida. The only problem with that? Quarles was injured and highly doubtful for the game with the Gators anyway.
“Quarles probably won’t play,” head coach Steve Spurrier said when running down his rather lengthy injury list Wednesday.
In other words, it’s a non-punitive punishment.
Whether sidelining an injured player who otherwise would’ve missed the game for which he’s suspended will be “subject to league approval” remains to be seen.