Although 14 of his players have been suspended, Charleston Southern football coach Jamey Chadwell said Friday that his team will "be fine" and will have a full travel squad available for Saturday's game against No. 3 Florida State.
The players were suspended for spending scholarship money allocated for books on other items, the school announced Friday. Charleston Southern self-reported the financial aid violations to the NCAA.
"Obviously, we're missing some people that are some good players for us," Chadwell told local television station WCIV before boarding a bus headed to Tallahassee, Florida. "The guys that we're taking down there played and have helped us win before. There's going to be some new guys. Obviously it's not the situation you want to go in with a No. 3 or 4 team in the country. ... We'll go in there and play. I think we'll be fine."
In total, 32 football players must serve a one-game suspension. The suspensions will be staggered over the first two weeks of the season and two additional players will serve their suspensions at a later date, the school announced.
Under NCAA rules, student-athletes may purchase books and school supplies with the financial aid provided to them to purchase books. Other items cannot be covered by that financial aid.
"CSU is continuing an internal review of possible NCAA rules violations within the athletics program," a statement from the school read. "The university is working with the NCAA, the Big South Conference and an outside consultant during the process."
WCIV reported that Charleston Southern will be missing 14 to 15 players on Saturday. The players were suspended for spending scholarship money allocated for books on other items, a source told ESPN's Brett McMurphy.
Florida State paid Charleston Southern $475,000 for the game.
Charleston Southern senior running back Ben Robinson posted Thursday on Facebook: "So basically about 30+ players on my team including me have been suspended for using book money to buy other things in the book store like pencils, binders, and electronics, out of our school bookstore. We would have leftover book money and the workers in the bookstore advised us to spend the money because we would not get it back, so we did."
Chadwell told WCIV that he was unaware until Friday morning about the attention Robinson's Facebook post, and social media posts from other players, had received.
"It's obviously taken the country by storm, it seems," he said. "It's unfortunate because I think it puts the focus on some other things instead of the good things that our team is doing and that our university is doing for us. But we'll get through it. And, hopefully, we'll represent ourself well on Saturday and try to regroup and get over this."
When asked what he would tell his team about speaking out via social media, Chadwell said: "We need to keep everything we're dealing with in-house and protect our team. That's what I tell our guys. No matter what you do, always protect your team. You can have a voice but just make sure you're reasonable with what you're saying.
"I always try to shed us in a positive light and not a negative. I think there were some good positive stuff that came out last night, but there were some negative things that didn't need to. We'll work through that."
Charleston Southern athletic director Hank Small announced last week that Chadwell and an unnamed assistant would serve a one-game suspension and several players would be held out against Kentucky State due to potential NCAA violations.
Chadwell's suspension was not related to the misuse of scholarship money, but because of the use of social media for recruiting.
ESPN's Brett McMurphy contributed to this report.