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South Carolina freshman Laimonas Chatkevicius suspended six games for receiving impermissible benefits

Nov 11, 2012, 2:16 PM EDT

spt-120111-frankmartin AP

South Carolina freshman forward Laimonas Chatkevicius has been suspended for the first six games of the 2012-13 season for taking impermissible benefits, the school announced Sunday.

According to the release, Chatkevicius received the benefits from his host family prior to enrolling at South Carolina.

The seven-footer Chatkevicius is the biggest part of coach Frank Martin’s five-man 2012 recruiting class, his first with the Gamecocks. Martin was hired at South Carolina in late March, with Chatkevicius’ commitment coming in April.

He chose to commit to South Carolina over Kansas State, Martin’s former school, and Missouri.

The six-game suspension will keep Chatkevicius out until December, barring him in action Sunday against Milwaukee, followed by games against Morgan State, Rider, Elon, Missouri State, and St. John’s. He is slated to return Dec. 2 against Clemson.

The media chose South Carolina to finish 13th in the SEC this season, ahead of only Mississippi State.

The Gamecocks begin their season Sunday against Milwaukee in the Hoops for Hope Classic.

Daniel Martin is a writer and editor at JohnnyJungle.com, covering St. John’s. You can find him on Twitter:@DanielJMartin_