Wednesday, March 05, 2008

The Great State of South Carolina

One would think the good citizens of South Carolina suffered enough embarrassment in 2007. Who can forget the performance of their representative at the Miss Teen competition, or that 6-6 Gamecock team that failed to earn a bid to a bowl?

But 2008 is off to a rocky start. Steve Spurrier says the cops beat up offensive lineman Kevin Young early Sunday morning in an incident that resulted in Young being field-booked, meaning he was arrested, processed at the scene and ticketed.

"I don't know how you get arrested without taking him downtown," Spurrier said.

Young was charged with fighting and resisting arrest, but Spurrier says his investigation indicated that Young was defending himself from an attacker before the cops showed up and started beating on Young, who suffered a bloody nose.

"I heard some policeman was beating on [Young] while the other one had his hands behind his back, or something. That’s the story we heard," Spurrier said.

A local sports-talk radio host who witnessed the incident confirmed the version of events that Spurrier says Young told him.

Kevin McCrarey, a co-host on the South Carolina News Network’s SportsTalk show, was leaving a nearby bar around 1:30 a.m. when three or four officers ran by him and toward the altercation. McCrarey said he saw an officer repeatedly punch one of the combatants, whom he later learned was Young, in the head with a closed fist.

"I think his rights were violated. Just because you get in a fight ... he got beat up by police. I really believe that," McCrarey said. "I don’t know police procedure, but the guy from behind was just swinging. He must have thrown 10 or 15 punches. Then they got him down, and they were still hitting him."

The State Law Enforcement Division plans to investigate.

Young is one of four Gamecocks currently suspended from the team. Cornerback Carlos Thomas, who started seven games in 2007, was suspended Tuesday. Thomas reportedly was disciplined for being loud and boisterous and using profanites in the presence of an athletic administrator in the team's dining hall.

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