TAMPA — From a game-experience perspective, USF's weakside linebacker spot will be especially weak at the season's outset.Coach Willie Taggart announced his top two "stingers" (aka weakside linebackers), junior Nigel Harris and senior Tashon Whitehurst, have been suspended for the season's first two games for an unspecified violation of team rules this past spring.Harris, a Hillsborough High alumnus, led all of Division I-A in forced fumbles (0.55 per game) in 2014.The Bulls host Florida A&M in their Sept. 5 season opener and play at FSU a week later. Redshirt freshman Jimmy Bayes, freshman Danny Thomas and senior C.J. Garye are the likely replacements in defensive coordinator Tom Allen's 4-2-5 scheme.Only Garye (six career tackles) has appeared in a college game."We count on everyone; we've talked about being all-in from Day 1," Taggart said. "We're counting on every guy to come out there, but we're not going to let any of those guys' mistakes stop us from what we're trying to do."We're going to continue to go out and play and next guy up … and those guys have got to work their butt off to come back and play and earn the job back." REILLY NOT READY: Though he's getting closer to returning to a normal practice schedule, offensive lineman Reilly Gibbons likely won't play against FAMU, Taggart said.Gibbons, a Stanford transfer granted an NCAA waiver that allows him to play immediately, is recovering from an unspecified knee procedure. He spent virtually all of preseason camp rehabbing the knee and observing full-team work."I'd say in about another week or so, you'll probably see him out doing more drills with our offensive linemen," Taggart said.Taggart reported nothing new on the status of another offensive lineman, junior college transfer Glen Bethel, who hasn't appeared this preseason. Taggart said this month Bethel was completing a class. C oach denies problemLOS ANGELES — USC coach Steve Sarkisian publicly apologized for his drunken appearance at a team rally last weekend, attributing his slurred, profane speech to a combination of alcohol and medication. Sarkisian plans to seek unspecified treatment, but the second-year Trojans coach said he doesn't believe he has a drinking problem. "I was not right, and I think the moral of the story is this: When you mix meds with alcohol, sometimes you say things and/or do things that you regret, and I regret it," Sarkisian said. "I'm sorry. I'm sorry for all of our fans and donors and all the people that were in attendance, but I'm going to move forward, and we're going to be great. " OBITUARY: Charlie Coffey, who brought a potent passing attack to Virginia Tech during three seasons as coach in the early 1970s, died Monday at his Shelbyville, Tenn., home after a long battle with cancer. He was 81. CLEMSON: Defensive tackle D.J. Reader is leaving the team because of personal matters. NOTRE DAME: The school announced plans to add a video board as part of a $400 million construction project around its historic stadium. RUTGERS: The school is investigating whether coach Kyle Flood violated school or NCAA rules by contacting a faculty member about the academic status of a player. … Star receiver Leonte Carroo, quarterback Chris Laviano and three other players were suspended for the first half of the season opener for a curfew violation. SOUTH CAROLINA: Sophomore Connor Mitch will start at quarterback for the Sept. 3 season opener against North Carolina, coach Steve Spurrier announced. NEW AD: Villanova hired USC's Mark Jackson to succeed Vince Nicastro as athletic director. Jackson was senior associate AD and chief innovation officer at USC. BASKETBALL: Minnesota finalized a two-year contract extension for coach Richard Pitino through the 2020-21 season, including a $400,000 raise. … Wake Forest dismissed senior guard Madison Jones from the team for violating an undisclosed athletic department policy. Information from Times wires was used in this report.