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Sept. 5, 2002

Columbia, SC –

* USC head coach Lou Holtz was not particularly pleased with his team’s performance during Thursday’s practice. “We made way too many mental mistakes,” said Holtz. “We couldn’t stop Virginia’s offense on our scout team.”

* Coach Holtz believes Virginia will try to force USC’s offense into a passing game. “We’ve had problems executing on a consistent basis. This will be a big test for us.”

* Coach Holtz has been working closely with the cornerbacks this week. “I do expect them to play better this week,” said Holtz. “Their quarterbacks are both outstanding and their receiver, (Billy) McMullen caught 83 passes last year. We need four receivers combined to do that.”

* When asked about the accusations in the media regarding potential NCAA violations, Coach Holtz said: “It’s upsetting that people, including the media, don’t think we can run a successful program without cheating. That’s a slap in the face to this program, that’s a slap in the face to this University and it’s a slap in the face to the state of South Carolina.”

* Kickoff for Saturday’s nationally televised game (ESPN) in Charlottesville is 7:47 p.m.
statement from USC athletics director Mike McGee:

* On Thursday, USC Athletics Director Mike McGee spoke with David Price, NCAA Vice President for Enforcement, who told McGee the following: “We have discovered no NCAA violations as a result of us asking questions to date.”

“The University of South Carolina is committed to complete adherence to NCAA rules. As has been our practice in the past and will continue to be in the future, we review all substantial allegations that are brought to our attention,” said McGee.

Statement from USC head football coach Lou Holtz:

“The story that was in the paper occurred in 1999. The University of South Carolina self reported the violation, suspended Derek Watson and reinstated him only after the NCAA cleared him. We will not comment on any allegations unless the NCAA asks us to do so. I honestly do not know of any NCAA violations committed by our football staff or of any USC supporters.”