SEC suspends Gamecocks' Swearinger for helmet hit - FOX Carolina 21

SEC suspends Gamecocks' Swearinger for helmet hit

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USC's Swearinger (far left) hits UAB's Hearn during Saturday's game. (Sept. 15, 2012/FOX Carolina) USC's Swearinger (far left) hits UAB's Hearn during Saturday's game. (Sept. 15, 2012/FOX Carolina)
COLUMBIA, SC (AP) -

The SEC has suspended South Carolina free safety D.J. Swearinger for a game after his hit on a defenseless UAB receiver.

The Southeastern Conference's decision Monday means Swearinger will miss the seventh-ranked Gamecocks' game this weekend against Missouri.

A personal foul was called against Swearinger after he launched into UAB's Patrick Hearn while breaking up a pass in the third quarter Saturday. The side of Swearinger's helmet crashed into Hearn's facemask. Both players stayed in the game.

On Sunday, South Carolina coach Steve Spurrier said a Vanderbilt player was given a 15-yard penalty but no suspension for a similar hit against Gamecocks tight end Justice Cunningham.

Spurrier says the NCAA should also protect quarterbacks after they release a pass. Gamecocks QB Connor Shaw was knocked out of the UAB game.

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

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