College Sports

USC's Cook suspended from school after arrest

COLUMBIA -- Another South Carolina football player is in trouble.

Sophomore Emanuel Cook, the Gamecocks' starting strong safety, was suspended from school Friday after being arrested for unlawful possession of a pistol. Cook was held at the Alvin S. Glenn Detention Center on Thursday night and released Friday on a $2,000 personal recognizance bond.

The offense is punishable by up to a $5,000 fine and five years in prison.

Athletic department policy calls for any arrested athlete to be suspended from all team activities. Since the charge involved a weapon, the incident was elevated to university protocol and Cook was suspended from school.

"He's a good young man that obviously was at the wrong place at the wrong time," coach Steve Spurrier said after Friday's practice. "He has no history of this kind of stuff that I know of."

In the past, Spurrier has suspended players until their legal matters were resolved. Some players were dismissed and others returned to the team.

Since he has been suspended from the university, Cook must first clear that hurdle and then attempt to re-join the football team.

Cook was with a USC student, James Edward Gore III, of 141 Loomis Street in Chester, Thursday when a USC police officer responded to a surveillance call of two people with a gun in a dormitory parking lot, according to a report from the USC police department. The responding officer saw Gore trying to hide something inside the car and did not comply when told to show his hands.

Cook told the officers there was a gun in the car and the officers found a loaded clip on Gore. While searching the car, Gore told the police the gun was in the glove compartment and a High Point .380 was discovered.

Cook and Gore were arrested and taken to jail. Gore was charged with unlawful carry or display of a firearm.

A 5-foot-10, 216-pound sophomore, Cook earned Freshman All-SEC honors from the league's coaches last year after starting five of 10 games and recording 47 tackles. He was the only true freshman to start last year's season-opener and returned from a sprained knee to post a strong finish.

The arrest came one day after three players, including starting quarterback Blake Mitchell, were suspended from the Gamecocks' Sept. 1 season-opener for missing too many summer classes. Mitchell is appealing his suspension but tailback Bobby Wallace and defensive back Chris Hail are definitely out.

The Gamecocks' secondary lists senior Chris Hampton behind Cook on the depth chart. Hampton started 11 of 13 games last season and had 36 tackles with two interceptions.

USC begins the year at 7 p.m. Sept. 1 against Louisiana-Lafayette.