Posted by Chip Patterson
Good news for Tennessee fans as they will get to see prized recruit Justin Hunter in the Vols season opener against Tennessee-Martin. Hunter was awaiting a decision from the NCAA Clearinghouse after being benched August 19 when an online summer class was called into question. Now cleared for the 2010 season, Hunter will begin his freshman campaign as the No. 2 receiver for the Volunteers.
One of Derek Dooley's first recruits, Hunter chose Tennessee over LSU late just weeks before National Signing Day. He has made quite the impression on the coaching staff this fall, and should have the opportunity to make an impact immediately. An Olympic caliber high-jumper with a 6-4 183 pound frame, it's hard to imagine he won't.
While it has long been expected, South Carolina head coach Steve Spurrier confirmed that TE Weslye Saunders will not play in the Gamecocks opener on Thursday against Southern Miss. Saunders has been suspended since August 23 for matters unrelated to the current NCAA agent investigation, and Ol' Ball Coach reiterated his distaste for the matter to ESPN.com's Chris Low on Tuesday.
"He's not on the team. He won't play Thursday," Spurrier said.
His suspension is reportedly a result of lying to coaches about missed meetings as opposed to the open investigation regarding his trip to Miami and its funding. Either way, the senior tight end is not doing himself any favors in the eyes of the program by continuing his missteps.
Saunders might not end up being the only Gamecock with off-field issues, as Coach Spurrier is waiting to hear back from the NCAA regarding the misuse of hotel rooms by several South Carolina players.
Saunders, defensive backs Akeem Auguste and C.C. Whitlock could be facing punishment from the NCAA for their reduced-rate stay at a swanky Columbia hotel that lasted for months.