Kelcy Quarles will be punished

Updated: October 17, 2012, 9:30 PM ET
ESPN.com news services

South Carolina coach Steve Spurrier said Wednesday that defensive tackle Kelcy Quarles likely will face some sort of discipline for punching a player at LSU last week.

Spurrier said Wednesday the discipline probably would involve missing game time. A video on YouTube shows Quarles punching LSU center P.J. Lonergan in the facemask after a first-quarter play in the Tigers' 23-21 victory.

Spurrier says he's seen much harder punches during games than the one Quarles threw. Still, Spurrier says he does not condone what Quarles did.

"We do have plans to discipline Kelcy for that," Spurrier said. "I guess you could call it a punch. I've seen bigger punches, but he did throw (one) at him. I don't know if the LSU guy even knew he threw it, but I saw it. We don't condone that."

Quarles has started all seven games this year and has 30 tackles and 2½ sacks. He's dealing with a shoulder injury and Spurrier said the sophomore defensive lineman may not be physically able to play Saturday when the Gamecocks (No. 7 BCS, No. 9 AP) visit Florida (No. 2 BCS, No. 3 AP).

Based on SEC rules, any penalty -- from no punishment to a suspension -- will be decided by South Carolina subject to the league's approval, SEC spokesman Charles Bloom said.

South Carolina defensive line coach Brad Lawing told The State in Columbia, S.C., that he was unaware of the incident and had not seen the punch during his film study. Lawing also told the newspaper he hasn't seen video of the punch on YouTube, but defensive tackle Byron Jerideau said he saw the incident.

"It happens a lot," Jerideau told The State after Tuesday's practice. "The refs don't see everything. Hopefully, he won't do it again."

The incident occurred on LSU's first offensive possession of the Tigers' 23-21 victory over the Gamecocks last Saturday. Lonergan blocked Quarles to the ground, then Quarles rolled over on Lonergan. Quarles stood up and punched Lonergan, who was lying on the ground, in the facemask.

There was no penalty called on the play. Bloom said the NCAA requires conference review following specific fouls.

"The SEC has been diligent in reviewing plays that by rule involve the initiation of contact and targeting defenseless opponents to the head and neck area," Bloom said in a statement on the SEC's behalf. "The conference maintains constant communication with head coaches on matters of penalty violations during the season. In the first instance discipline for violations involving non-NCAA-required automatic conference review are to be handled by the institution subject to the approval of the league office."

Information from ESPN.com's Brett McMurphy and Chris Low and The Associated Press was used in this report.

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