Byrd cleared to play

South Carolina freshman wide receiver Damiere game ban from the NCAA for accepting improper benefits.

"I can't begin to tell you how happy I am for Damiere," said South Carolina athletics director Eric Hyman. "Our folks in the department worked tirelessly to address the issues they encountered with Damiere���s situation. With the NCAA���s cooperation, we were able to resolve the issues in a timely manner that will allow him to play on Saturday."

The NCAA levied the penalty after Byrd received benefits during the recruiting process as part of the Student Athlete Mentoring (SAM) Foundation. The SAM program, based in Delaware, helps underprivileged, inner-city players get scholarship offers and meet academic eligibility requirements.

The No. 10 Gamecocks will host the Auburn Tigers on Saturday in a rematch of last year's SEC Championship game.