Originally created 06/16/04

Ex-Gamecock Hinton, 35, dies



COLUMBIA - Patrick Hinton, a former South Carolina linebacker known as the "Hit Man," has died from a pulmonary embolism, his brother said. He was 35.

Hinton died Sunday morning in Atlanta while trying to get into his locked car, said his brother Corey Hinton. A pulmonary embolism occurs when a blood clot moves from one part of the body and ends up blocking the pulmonary artery. Patrick Hinton had complained of a pain in his leg in recent weeks, his brother said.

Hinton played football at South Carolina from 1987-90. He is No. 8 on the Gamecocks' all-time tackles list and 328 career stops. He had eight interceptions in his career - three during one game against North Carolina State in 1988.

Derrick Frazier gave the 6-foot-2, 230-pound Hinton his nickname.

"He could play for a little skinny boy," said Frazier, who was a defensive lineman two years ahead of Hinton.

Hinton went on to play for Winnipeg in the Canadian Football League. While there, he met his wife and later worked for Xerox.

The couple and their two sons were planning to move to Hinton's hometown of Atlanta to be near his family, Corey Hinton said.

Funeral services were planned for Friday in College Park, Ga.

TELEVISION SCHEDULE: South Carolina's first two games this fall against Vanderbilt and Georgia will be televised, the school's athletic department spokesman Kerry Tharp said.

The Gamecocks haven't opened a season with two straight conference games since 1995 when South Carolina lost road games at Georgia and Arkansas.

The opening game at Vanderbilt on Sept. 4 will be broadcast regionally on Jefferson-Pilot, with kickoff scheduled for 12:30 p.m.

The following week, ESPN will televise the home game against Georgia at 5:30 p.m., making it the ninth consecutive year that the South Carolina-Georgia matchup has been televised nationally.

This will be the first time since joining the Southeastern Conference in 1992 that the Gamecocks, who finished 5-7 the past two seasons, will begin their league schedule with a team other than Georgia.

CLEMSON RECEIVER INJURED: Two-sport standout Airese Currie was injured in a fight at the NCAA track and field championships last weekend, Clemson coach Bob Pollock said.

Currie, a sprinter and wide receiver for the Tigers, received stitches for multiple cuts after he was hit in the face with a bottle, Pollock said.

Two Florida State athletes were arrested after the altercation, police said. Triple jumper Rafeeq Curry was charged with assault with bodily injury, and sprinter Rhoan Sterling was charged with disorderly conduct, police said.

Both athletes were arrested around 12:30 a.m. Sunday in downtown Austin, Texas, according to Austin Police Department spokeswoman Laura Albrecht.

Florida State track coach Bob Braman said Willie Johnson, a triple jumper on the Seminoles, was assaulted by a Clemson athlete before Currie's attack.

Braman wouldn't name the athlete but said it was not Currie.

"We feel for Airese. This is senseless," Braman said. "We're trying to collect information from other people there. It's a horrible thing that we're all embarrassed about."

Currie should be fine for the upcoming football season, athletics spokesman Tim Bourret said.