University of South Carolina cornerback Vic Hampton missed the entire first half of last week’s brutal 41-30 Gamecock loss to Georgia.

But why? What happened? Early reports indicated Hampton was suffering from the lingering effects of a helmet-to helmet hit sustained during the Gamecocks’ season opening win over North Carolina. In fact that’s what the USC coaching staff told The (Columbia, S.C.) State newspaper last week.

“Ahmad (Christian)’s going to start, because Victor only really practiced (Thursday),” USC defensive coordinator Lorenzo Ward told the paper. “But I think he’s getting better.”

Ward didn’t mention anything about Hampton being suspened, although he did offer up an interestingly phrased answer

“I think we’re going to relieve him of those duties for a while,” Ward said. “He understands.”

Hmmmm …

Moments before kickoff in Athens, Georgia on Saturday it was revealed that Hampton had, in fact, been suspended for the first half against the Bulldogs. The reason? By now these six words should be intimately familiar to Gamecock football fans …

“An unspecified violation of team rules.”

According to our sources, Hampton was involved in some sort of altercation with a member of the Gamecock training staff.

Sheesh … what is it with all this Gamecock-on-Gamecock hate?

Anyway, Hampton’s presence in the lineup made little difference as Georgia shredded South Carolina’s defense for 299 yards and 17 points in the second half alone.

South Carolina will try and target its aggression against an opponent this weekend when it hosts Vanderbilt at Williams Brice Stadium. Kickoff is set for 7:00 p.m. EDT with ESPN televising the game nationally.