SEC suspends South Carolina player

Sept. 17, 2012 at 1:51 PM

BIRMINGHAM, Ala., Sept. 17 (UPI) -- South Carolina defensive back D.J. Swearinger has been suspended one game by the Southeastern Conference because of an illegal hit.

SEC officials announced Monday that Swearinger, a senior, must sit out the No. 8-ranked Gamecocks' game Saturday against Missouri.

Swearinger was suspended for hitting a University of Alabama-Birmingham player in the helmet while breaking up a pass in the third quarter of South Carolina's 49-6 win over UAB last Saturday. Game officials called a personal foul on the play.

"These rules are for the protection of the health and safety of our players on both sides of the ball," said SEC Commissioner Mike Slive. "It is imperative that our student-athletes understand the importance of this rule. Our motivation in making these decisions is to protect our student-athletes."

Swearinger has 10 tackles and one interception this season for the 3-0 Gamecocks.

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