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

Byrd must repay his benefits to become eligible again.

"While we respect the process, we are very disappointed for Damiere," said South Carolina athletic director Eric Hyman in a statement. "Damiere is an outstanding individual and has been up front with us as to what occurred during the recruiting process. He had no idea that being part of the Student Athlete Mentoring (SAM) Foundation would in any way affect his college eligibility. We continue to support him and will carefully consider appealing this decision."

The SAM program, based in Delaware, helps underprivileged, inner-city players get scholarship offers and meet academic eligibility requirements.

Byrd did not play in the season opener against East Carolina and he will miss games versus Georgia, Navy and Vanderbilt.