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More than one-third of Gamecocks’ 2014 recruiting class may not qualify

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What was once a robust 2014 recruiting class for South Carolina could look rather sparse once summer camp rolls around early next month.

In a conversation earlier this week, assistant coach Steve Spurrier Jr. conceded to Josh Kendall of The State that eight of the Gamecocks 2014 signees have yet to meet the academic qualifications to enroll in the school.  Not only that, but three of the eight — defensive ends Dante Sawyer, Kalan Ritchie and Jhaustin Thomas — have either already announced they are headed to the JUCO ranks (the first two) or have whiffed on signing with the Gamecocks twice (Thomas signed with USC out of high school and, after failing to qualify initially, JUCO).

Sawyer has already stated that he plans to sign with the Gamecocks again in 2015.

The paper writes that “[c]ornerbacks Wesley Green, Chris Lammons and Darin Smalls, fullback Joe Blue and defensive tackle Dexter Wideman still are trying to meet qualifying standards in time to join the Gamecocks in August.”

Wideman is the highest ranked of the remaining five, rated as a four-star prospect by

“We have a plan either way with him,” Spurrier Jr. said of the defensive lineman. “There are three or four that kind of fit into that group.”

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41 Responses to “More than one-third of Gamecocks’ 2014 recruiting class may not qualify”
  1. Stephanie says: Jul 11, 2014 6:44 PM

    See Clowney, Javedeon.

  2. patriottony says: Jul 11, 2014 6:57 PM

    Again the professionalism, integrity and ethics of the CHICKEN program is called into question,, year after year,,after year. How many names would you like listed? Spurrier’s mantra is FOOTBALL first, who cares about classes/degree?

  3. cometkazie says: Jul 11, 2014 6:58 PM

    There may be a pattern here.

  4. jrs45 says: Jul 11, 2014 7:08 PM


  5. mrlaloosh says: Jul 11, 2014 7:45 PM


  6. buck says: Jul 11, 2014 8:07 PM

    Fantastic comments section brewing here. Stephanie, what does J. Clowney have to do with non-qualifiers? He qualified with ease, was never connected with any academic problems in his three years.

    Patriottony – I would like five names listed. But first tell me what you’re listing them for. Not qualifying? Arrests? Other? Because lists like that can be made for EVERY school.

    Cometkazie – please elaborate. Pattern of what? Spurrier has had a pretty good record as far as recruits qualifying.

    So far jrs45 has the most intelligent comment with “lmao!”

    Keep it up comments section!

  7. brianincbus says: Jul 11, 2014 8:44 PM

    Well since they’re in the $EC I’m sure they oversigned by 20 so it’ll all work out.

  8. jonkybon says: Jul 11, 2014 9:22 PM

    Clown eye had a .03 GPA before committing to SC, which amazingly became. 3.1 after. A teenage Chinese girl by the name of Jadevean Clowney took the SAT after Clowney senior was employed by the Univ of South. Carolina. He was then terminated within two weeks after the draft and was evicted from the Columbia residence. No, nothing shady by Slurrier.

  9. Deb says: Jul 11, 2014 9:53 PM

    Does it really matter what a world-class athlete capable of earning millions for the NCAA and millions in the NFL scored on the SAT?

    Let’s be real here: People have different skillsets, and it takes all kinds to make a world. Athletes generate revenue to fund programs that benefit academics. We don’t expect people attending school on academic scholarships to match the physical talents of people on athletic scholarships. Why expect people on athletic scholarships to match the intellectual requirements of people on academic scholarships. It’s an idiotic system designed to humiliate athletes and penalize coaches.

  10. jets12 says: Jul 11, 2014 11:25 PM

    Jonkybon anyone who has spent anytime on this site knows that you are a liar and knows that you live in a fantasy of your own making. Your insane obsession with the Gamecocks and Steve Spurrier is not only unhealthy but is also, in your case, unwinnable. As Spurrier has owned the two schools that you seem to care so much about. In case you forgot that would be Georgia and Clemson.

  11. bridgeh20mvp says: Jul 12, 2014 12:01 AM

    Deb- agree 100% couldn’t have said it better myself

  12. Stephanie says: Jul 12, 2014 12:12 AM

    “With ease…” Hahahahaha! It’s a well-known fact that Clowney effectively could not read when he entered South Carolina. Deb’s argument might hold water if we weren’t talking about academic institutions. To play collegiate athletics, students are expected to excel, not just play sports. The problem us that schools like South Carolina have forgotten that tiny point.

  13. keltictim says: Jul 12, 2014 12:57 AM

    “Effectively couldn’t read”? Like your effectively a moron? Nobody has ever claimed the man was a Rhodes scholar (that means really smart for you clemson fans), but to call him illiterate is just plain sad. Anytime y’all want to bring some facts to go along with your allegations that would be great. The facts of the article are pretty basic, a small number if recruits are having problems qualifying academically. Happens at every school. This year is noteworthy at USC due to the high rating of the players, and the one guy who has failed twice. I’ll take that over guys getting arrested every day of the week, and FIVE times in a row.

  14. Stephanie says: Jul 12, 2014 1:06 AM

    I love being called a moron by someone who doesn’t even have a grasp on the English language.

  15. qb757 says: Jul 12, 2014 2:52 AM

    I’m a HUGE gamecock fan but there’s just no getting around the fact that these days, you pretty much recruit and play brainless morons if you want to win. The likes of Clowney, Swearinger, Montgomery, Quarles, Hampton, might not understand the entire alphabet in its’ complexity but they can sure play ball. It’s sad but it’s the same everywhere (except maybe Ivy League and lower divisions).

  16. classyjacklambert says: Jul 12, 2014 4:34 AM

    Good god. How dumb do you have to be to not get accepted to SCAR?

  17. tendigitpoet says: Jul 12, 2014 6:37 AM

    It’s not true at Stanford. Or Vanderbilt, Northwestern, or Miami of Ohio for that matter.

  18. marooncat79 says: Jul 12, 2014 8:12 AM

    UNC is jealous of the rigorous standards set at So Car

  19. cometkazie says: Jul 12, 2014 8:30 AM

    You would think the high schools these kids went to and their coaches would make an effort to ensure that these kids met the requirements for the colleges/universities they want to attend. I knew a gifted track athlete from a small, rural school who had a 3.5gpa but only scored 14 on the test.

    Good to see your post, Deb, and I’m looking forward to November 8th.

    But I have to disagree here. There need to be standards, even if they are minimum ones.

  20. thetruthasiseeit68 says: Jul 12, 2014 9:21 AM

    Haters are going to hate and fans will defend. Every criticism here are from folks who are tired of seeing their team’s ass handed to them and are looking for any excuse other than they lost fair and square. That is the value of the negative comments posted here. Get used to it since we’ve used up all the fingers on one hand, we’re going to the next.

  21. thraiderskin says: Jul 12, 2014 10:39 AM

    qb757, you have no way to prove that statement true. Might that probably be the case at most of the major programs, perhaps, but there is no way to prove that. I don’t know about the other conferences, but I’m confident that most of the schools in the B1G maintain academic integrity.

  22. dhardy8207 says: Jul 12, 2014 11:10 AM

    Keltictim says;

    “a small number if recruits are having problems qualifying academically.”


    Uumm, If your recruiting class has a total of 25 players then 8 is roughly 1/3 of the recruitng class.

    Secondly, if we’re going to be relaxed about the requirements for playing then it will just be a matter of time before the requirements to play are dropped.

    @ Deb; saying this with all due respect, WTH? With the content of your post you are dismissing the importance of academics for athletic abilities. Yes players sign with a school because of their talent on the field, but how many times do we look at NFL players after their bodies are beat up to the point they can’t play, they’ve squandered their earnings or illiteracy about anything financial has allowed them to be targets of scams and lose their earning as a result.

    If academics is expected to be secondary to athletics then lets not give them a “scholarship” as in:

    Scholar: one that seeks academic study or achievement; learning of a high level.

    Scholarship: a grant or payment made to support a student’s education, awarded on the basis of academic or other achievement.

    They might as well just form an amatuer league, pay them for playing and just leave the academics out of it totally. They are taking up a spot in admissions that another youngster really desiring an education would appreciate.

  23. ducksk says: Jul 12, 2014 11:20 AM

    Funny how a sports blog turns into debate on drugs and crime. 2014 good times

  24. BrownsTown says: Jul 12, 2014 12:23 PM

    I’d write something snarky but I’m sure this story doesn’t surprise anyone at this point. The only development is that it settles the faux debate over who should be called USC. Since Southern Cal isn’t a community college, they keep the rights to the brand they really never lost in the first place.

  25. Deb says: Jul 12, 2014 5:06 PM

    @cometkazie …

    I’m looking forward to our game as well–but not too much because that will mean the season’s nearly over :)

  26. Deb says: Jul 12, 2014 5:15 PM

    @dhardy8207 …

    It’s time to rethink what it means to be a “student” athlete. I’m not saying we should forget the academic requirement. But we do need to lower the academic standard and make other rule changes regarding athletes. For instance, as a journalism student, I sold articles, was allowed to meet with professional editors, and could have contracted with an agent. But if a player on our football team had met with an agent, he would have lost his position on the team and our school would have been put on probation. That’s insane.

    Someone here is posting about whether Clowney took his SAT. The guy just signed a contract that guarantees him $22.272 million over the first four years, with a $14.518 million signing bonus. How many graduating seniors can say that? Is college about career prep or what? We need to ensure we’re prepping people for their chosen careers in the most logical way possible, not simply following a set of criteria because that’s the way it’s always been done. That includes helping the guys who won’t make it in the pros without penalizing the guys who will.

  27. dhardy8207 says: Jul 12, 2014 6:29 PM

    @ Deb;

    Yes your example of Jadaveon Clowney is a prime one, thank you for referrencing his particular contract. But all that contract isn’t guaranteed. If he gets injured as some do and can’t play although he will walk away with some money that is for certain he won’t get the full amount of his contract.

    How many times do we see players that don’t have the intelligence to manage their money? How many professional players football and basketball that aren’t bright enough to keep agents and other con artist from soliciting them for money on deals that they don’t fully comprehend (bad investments) and next thing you know they’re broke and living in poverty. It is the equivalent of giving a child a large bank account with a debit card and them having no knowledge of how banking and managing money works. The majority of players won’t make it 10 years in the league. They receive these huge contracts and go spending like theres a tree that will bare and endless stream of cash. You should really watch the Real Sports segment that aired recently about the amount of Pro football players that are broke within 10 years of their playing years ending.

    I’ll give you an example:

    Professional Basketball player Antwone Walker. Played for the celtics, first contract was for several million, second was much larger. In all this man made over $100 million dollars. He’s now broke and last account owed the IRS millions. Now not saying an education would necessary have change all of that as some of this can be contributed to personal accountability, self control. But when young men are not mature, have always been poor, and have no education to fall back on, they are usually prime targets for thieves and end up broke beyond belief.

  28. cometkazie says: Jul 12, 2014 6:32 PM

    Deb, if you are posting, can the season be far behind?

  29. capsfanone says: Jul 12, 2014 7:38 PM

    You have to be a retard to not have the grades to get in this school.

  30. Deb says: Jul 12, 2014 9:02 PM

    Ha ha, cometkazie … you know if I’m peeking in, we must be getting close :)

    @dhardy8207 …

    Actually, Clowney’s contract is guaranteed. Can’t speak to basketball contracts–don’t follow the sport. But I did see that Real Sports episode.

    It’s a Catch 22. That’s why I tacked on the closing line about protecting those who don’t/can’t make it in the pros. We have to find a balance between letting athletes walk out of college with nothing to show–intellectually speaking–for their time in academia, and forcing them to adhere to ridiculously rigid rules that don’t take into account the fact that they’re essentially working full-time as athletes.

    These players are carrying a burden no academic students carry while paying for many of those academic programs. Football players in major programs are also paying for most of the other sports programs at their schools. Yet their scholarships are in jeopardy if they blow their noses with a hanky provided by an agent. Something’s got to give. Or … the NCAA can just wait until they all unionize and figure out how best to protect their own interests. I’m okay with that alternative if it’s the best they can do. But one way or another, those kids need better than they’ve been getting.

  31. trojanprincess49 says: Jul 13, 2014 5:04 PM

    Our last recruiting class was filled with kids earning a 3.0 and higher in good high schools in California, and out of state. While almost every school in the country (save Stanford-they’re on a whole other level of academic elite) make some academic allowances, if the kids you’re recruiting can’t even make the NCAA minimum…they’re doomed for failure.

    The student still comes before the athlete, the school owes the recruits they offer, a legitimate chance of academic success.

    Thankful this is not my USC, the University of Southern California, discussed here.

  32. mogogo1 says: Jul 14, 2014 11:55 AM

    But Emmert told me the NCAA is all about the student athlete, so surely he’ll be stepping in and taking care of this, right?

  33. jtbsteeler says: Jul 14, 2014 4:32 PM

    “Brainless morons” statement was ignorant.

  34. gatorcheme says: Jul 14, 2014 4:35 PM

    When discussing the prospect of a student-athlete making bank in their chosen sport, don’t we also have to consider that almost all student-athletes will actually go on to do something other than sports. It’s like the NCAA commercial says.

    Do we cherry pick the athletes to not meet the minimum reqs based strictly on their athletic performance? Seriously, these are minimums, it’s not like every potential student-athlete has to have the potential to be a PhD or something.

    It’s still college, but it’s not THAT hard. If the potential recruit is having difficulties, they gotta find a way….education programs, JUCO, private tutoring, etc.

  35. onlyoneleft says: Jul 14, 2014 4:45 PM

    cometkazie says:
    Jul 12, 2014 8:30 AM
    “You would think the high schools these kids went to and their coaches would make an effort to ensure that these kids met the requirements for the colleges/universities they want to attend. I knew a gifted track athlete from a small, rural school who had a 3.5gpa but only scored 14 on the test.

    Good to see your post, Deb, and I’m looking forward to November 8th.

    But I have to disagree here. There need to be standards, even if they are minimum ones.”

    What do you expect. Most of the teachers and coaches are graduates of South Carolina.

  36. onlyoneleft says: Jul 14, 2014 4:45 PM

    Ok, I left off the question mark.

  37. john8220 says: Jul 15, 2014 6:33 AM

    From the article:
    “South Carolina’s multi-year football APR of 980 is tied with Missouri for the best mark in the SEC.”

  38. john8220 says: Jul 15, 2014 6:44 AM

    “The International MBA program has been ranked No. 1 in the international business specialty by U.S.News & World Report in its survey of “America’s Best Graduate Schools 2015,” released March 11, 2014. The Moore School has ranked in the top three for 25 consecutive years.”

    Ranked 55th best public university, ahead of many PAC-12 and SEC schools, as well as Temple and Rutgers. Not bad considering how horrible our state’s K-12 education system is (thanks to our GOP dominated legislature)

  39. john8220 says: Jul 15, 2014 6:57 AM

    Those of you on here not familiar with this recruiting class don’t know the entire story behind this. South Carolina didn’t have very many scholarships available and most only expected them to sign 12-14 players. Most of these players with academic issues committed AFTER that number was achieved, and most were 4* players. The theory is that if they most likely won’t qualify, they can go to prep school for a semester, enroll at SC in January ’15, then sign with the ’15 class and count back to the ’14 class (because the limit of 25 wasn’t reached). A couple might need to go to JUCO, which means they can re-sign in ’16. So this isn’t some catastrophe or mistake, it was expected and PLANNED FOR.

    The ignorant comments on this thread show why the Big Ten hasn’t been relevant in college football for a DECADE, and why ClemPson hasn’t beat the Gamecocks in FIVE YEARS. Learn how to build a program before you comment next time..

  40. john8220 says: Jul 15, 2014 6:59 AM

    Personally I was hoping these kids would all qualify. I had such high expectations for their success, it really sucks that they pulled a CLEMPSON and failed to succeed when it really mattered!!

  41. stoicpaisano says: Jul 15, 2014 9:55 AM

    Then why sign them (the sure-fire non-qualifiers) to a letter of intent at all? They’re all free game to be recruited again once they come out of post-grad school or JUCO, though we know some of these goons won’t even hack it there.

    You think Spurrier is scoring brownie points for the future by sending these kids LOIs? Hell no, they’ll sign with the program with the most gibsmedats.

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