Originally created 05/04/01

USC notebook



Derek Watson's troubled career at South Carolina continues.

The Gamecocks tailback is accused of striking Richelle Beard "in the arm with his fist," according to a University of South Carolina Police Department report filed by Beard on Wednesday night.

The report said Beard, a sophomore, wanted to press charges in the incident, which is labeled assault and battery.

South Carolina associate athletics director Kerry Tharp said Watson, the Gamecocks' first 1,000-yard rusher in four seasons, will be punished by coach Lou Holtz.

Watson missed several practices after the regular season ended, and he was involved in a wreck three weeks later while driving teammate Teddy Crawford's car at 3 a.m. Dec. 21. Watson was ticketed for driving too fast and driving with a suspended license, and Holtz suspended him for the Outback Bowl.

IT'S A GIRL:

When Dave Odom was hired as men's basketball at South Carolina on April 10, he said he couldn't think of anything more exciting than getting the Gamecocks' job.

On Thursday afternoon, another event moved atop his list of exhilarating experiences when he learned his first granddaughter was born.

"She's the first girl born on either side of the family since my wife," said Odom, who was at the USC Aiken gym for Thursday's Gamecock Club meeting.

Odom got the call at 3 p.m. Thursday from his son, Lane Odom, an assistant basketball coach at Missouri. Cameron Atkins Odom weighed six pounds, six ounces at birth.

"I can't tell you how overtaken I was," the grandfather said. "I lost my breath. Tears came into my eyes. It was just the greatest thing in the world, it really was."

FIRST IMPRESSIONS:

When Odom discusses what impresses him most about the team he inherits, the first name he mentions is Tony Kitchings. The former South Aiken High star will be a junior in 2001-02, and Odom said the 6-foot-10, 260-pounder "is going to have a great year."

"If there's a player in our program now that has impressed me more, I don't know who it would be," Odom said. "I had a long talk with Tony when I got there. I don't like to talk about potential; I like to talk about the here and now. He's got that."

STAYING POWER:

Odom still isn't sure whether Calvin Clemmons will stay at South Carolina. After Eddie Fogler resigned as Gamecocks coach March 12, Clemmons said he planned to transfer.

Odom said he had a meeting with the sophomore Thursday morning and told Clemmons he wants him at South Carolina.

"Calvin wants to come back," Odom said. "There's no problem with us. He just wants to make sure he'll have a chance to play."

The Associated Press contributed to this report.