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Victor Hampton back at South Carolina

6/22/2011

Victor Hampton is getting another chance at South Carolina.

A week after being dismissed from the team, the redshirt freshman cornerback was reinstated Tuesday, according to a report by WIS-TV in Columbia.

It looks like Hampton, who has had multiple off-the-field issues in the past, has returned for workouts with his team, but will likely be suspended in some capacity.

Hampton was dismissed last week for breaking unspecified team rules. After South Carolina coach Steve Spurrier met with Hampton and his parents, a conduct contract was drawn up for Hampton to sign and abide by. Chances are that if he disobeys his contract, Spurrier won't be so nice the next time.

Hampton arrived at South Carolina with a history of off-field issues and redshirted last year. He was a much-heralded recruit when he arrived and is expected to compete for time at cornerback this year. While he's made knuckleheaded decisions off the field, the Gamecocks need him on it.

He won't start this year, but he'll help with depth and will help push some of the other cornerbacks. Akeem Auguste moved from safety to his more natural position at corner, and Stephon Gilmore has the other spot locked down. Hampton really impressed the South Carolina coaches this spring and appeared to be a solid backup to Gilmore.

Having Hampton back will enhance the position because of his natural ability, but he's got to keep himself out of trouble. He's slipped up multiple times and it's uncertain how many chances he'll have left. He'd be a terrible waste of talent.

The Hampton news comes after Spur linebacker DeVonte Holloman was arrested early Saturday morning on suspicion of driving under the influence after he was stopped at a police checkpoint near Williams-Brice Stadium.

It's unknown what will happen to Holloman, who moved from safety to Spur this spring, but losing him for any amount of time would be a huge blow to South Carolina, as Holloman is one of the Gamecocks' best defensive players.

Spurrier recently reinstated quarterback Stephen Garcia after he was suspended indefinitely for being disruptive and loud at a mandatory leadership seminar this spring. Garcia later told Spurrier that he had been drinking before the event. It was the fifth time Garcia had been suspended by the team.

This season has the potential of being bigger than last year for South Carolina. The Gamecocks made it to their first ever SEC championship game in 2010 and enter the 2011 season as a popular favorite in the East. If the Gamecocks are going to live up to expectations, they need these silly distractions to stop.