Originally created 08/19/00

USC lineman leaves team



COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) - South Carolina offensive lineman Jason Harris, one of the Gamecocks signees this past February, told coach Lou Holtz he was leaving the team and giving up football.

Harris, a 6-foot-6, 340 pound lineman from Greenville's Wade Hampton High School, chose South Carolina over Wake Forest and was a member of the 1999 Associated Press All-State team this winter.

"Jason has indicated he no longer had the desire to play the game," Holtz said. "He's a fine young man and we wish him all the best."

The offensive line, which was destroyed by injuries last year, again is sustaining some bumps and bruises during preseason camp. Guard Dennis Thomas missed Friday's morning workout with an ankle sprain. Tackle Jeff Barnes has been slowed with a groin pull.

Starting tackle Melvin Paige had some swelling in his knee, but Holtz said he did a good job fighting through it during practice.