Originally created 09/08/01

Gamecocks' Petravicius may be suspended



South Carolina center Marius Petravicius could be suspended for as many 17 games if the NCAA determines he played with professionals or in unsanctioned games.

University athletics spokesman Kerry Tharp said Friday the school is not finished with the report on Petravicius, who is from Kltenenu, Lithuania.

"We are in the process of gathering information for a report to the NCAA regarding Marius Petravicius," Tharp said. "We are hopeful mitigating circumstances will allow for a significant reduction in any type of initial one-for-one game suspensions."

Tharp said if Petravicius was suspended for the maximum 17 games the university would appeal the decision.

Losing the 6-foot-10 junior would hurt the Gamecocks inside. He averaged more than 8.0 points and 4.0 rebounds last season.

South Carolina opens its season Nov. 19 at the Maui Invitational, an eight-team Thanksgiving week event that features Duke, Kansas, UCLA and Seton Hall.