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South Carolina's Chatkevicius to miss 6 games

Laimonas Chatkevicius (Source: USC Athletics) Laimonas Chatkevicius (Source: USC Athletics)

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) - South Carolina freshman center Laimonas Chatkevicius will miss six games after the NCAA determined he received impermissible benefits before enrolling at the school.

Gamecocks coach Frank Martin announced the suspension Sunday a few hours before the team began its season against Wisconsin-Milwaukee.

The NCAA ruled the 6-foot-11 Chatkevicius got benefits from his host family that weren't allowed before joining the Gamecocks. Chatkevicius is from Lithuania and played prep basketball at South Kent School in Connecticut.

Chatkevicius is among five freshmen on Martin's first team at South Carolina and is the team's tallest player. The penalty means he will not be eligible to play until Nov. 29 at St. John's.

The school also said that walk-on freshman Brian Steele was suspended because of athletic department policy.

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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