South Carolina dismisses quarterback Garcia

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COLUMBIA — Stephen Garcia won’t get a sixth chance to play quarterback for No. 15 South Carolina.

Garcia, who had been suspended and brought back to the team five previous times, was dismissed Tuesday for failing an alcohol test, a person familiar with the decision said. The person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because South Carolina had not announced specifically why Garcia had been kicked off the team.

The person told the AP Garcia had agreed to undergo periodic tests for the presence of any alcohol as a condition of his reinstatement.

Athletic director Eric Hyman would only say that Garcia was released after the fifth-year senior failed to meet agreed-upon guidelines.

“Being a student-athlete at the University of South Carolina is a privilege, not a right and we remind all of our student-athletes that there are consequences for their actions,” Hyman said in a statement.

Garcia told The AP in a text message Tuesday that he was “shocked and completely flabbergasted to be honest” by the dismissal. He said he would have a full statement later in the week.

Garcia was suspended from all team activities in April for unacceptable conduct at a life-skills seminar. He was conditionally approved to workout with teammates in May, then reinstated fully last August just before football camp began.

Hyman and coach Steve Spurrier said then Garcia had to live up to several regulations to keep his spot in the program.

“Unfortunately,” Hyman continued, Garcia “has not been able to abide by those guidelines and therefore forfeited his position on the roster.”

Garcia started 34 games, including four this season, for the Gamecocks since arriving on campus in January 2007. He was demoted to second string behind sophomore Connor Shaw on Oct. 3 by Spurrier for inconsistent play and did not take part in a 54-3 blowout of Kentucky last Saturday.

Spurrier was asked earlier Tuesday whether Garcia would be Shaw’s backup when the Gamecocks travel to Mississippi State on Saturday.

“We’ll see how all that works out this week,” Spurrier said.

About an hour later, Garcia was gone.

Garcia threw for 3,059 yards and 20 TDs a year ago as the Gamecock played in their first SEC title game.

His numbers, however, did not match those he put up a season ago. His completion percentage fell from more than 64 in 2010 to less than 52 this fall. He had nine interceptions and just four touchdown passes when Spurrier sat him following South Carolina’s only loss, 16-13 to Auburn on Oct. 1.

Spurrier said he was sad that Garcia’s career ended this way.

‘’We all feel like we’ve given Stephen numerous opportunities to be a student-athlete here at South Carolina. Obviously, he has chosen not to follow the guidelines of his reinstatement contract,” Spurrier said in a statement. “We wish him the best.”

Comments (19)

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justthefacts
17992
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justthefacts 10/11/11 - 02:02 pm
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Shaw playing well Saturday

Shaw playing well Saturday was the ole proverbial kiss of death for Garcia.

BobM
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BobM 10/11/11 - 02:16 pm
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Too bad they waited this

Too bad they waited this long. He cost them the Auburn game.

blues550
344
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blues550 10/11/11 - 02:34 pm
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From being thrown under the

Unpublished

From being thrown under the team bus to being hauled back inside and ushered out the bakc door while the bus was heading down the road. How much you want to be had Shaw not performed this would not have happened in the Spurrier Circus that is upstaging the hilarious hijinx of the Lou Crew!

Just My Opinion
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Just My Opinion 10/11/11 - 03:17 pm
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Folks, you know that I am NOT

Folks, you know that I am NOT a Carolina fan, but I do know alittle bit about this and I'm actually thinking that Garcia needed one more chance, and this time it seems that he may really deserve it. From what I've read, Garcia's father recently passed away and Garcia had had some alcohol to drink. Seems that the timing was awful for that (there is no good time to lose a loved one, is there?) and he was given a drug test just recently. Garcia failed it for alcohol consumption. Truthfully, that is the way it is as I know it. Just to be sure, I invite the sports staff here to check it out and verify it. I don't like the Gamecocks, but this is a sad situation.

RammaJamma
0
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RammaJamma 10/11/11 - 03:21 pm
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Garcia should have been gone

Garcia should have been gone a long time ago. Who gets suspended 5 times and reinstated every time? Wouldnt fly with majority of college teams.

rmwhitley
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rmwhitley 10/11/11 - 04:17 pm
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He's free to join the "occupy

Unpublished

He's free to join the "occupy Wall St." gang. It appears that he has their kind of "life's goal".

rmwhitley
5081
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rmwhitley 10/11/11 - 04:19 pm
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I believe it was Garcia's

Unpublished

I believe it was Garcia's grandfather who passed away last week. My condolences to the family, but this isn't Garcia's first rodeo.

KSL
105863
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KSL 10/11/11 - 07:16 pm
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He's probably relieved. I

He's probably relieved. I don't think he had his heart in it. Playing sports takes a heck of a commitment.

Vito45
-2
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Vito45 10/11/11 - 09:00 pm
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JMO, I would question the

JMO, I would question the veracity of the alcohol story. Maybe alcohol was the final straw, but it is not typically tested for unless the subject is displaying evidence of intoxication. It is metabolized fairly quickly and if you had a few last night, it isn't going to show up in a test today.

KSL
105863
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KSL 10/11/11 - 09:19 pm
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I'll ask my son, Vito. He was

I'll ask my son, Vito. He was on the USC football team some time back.

Ushouldnthave
0
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Ushouldnthave 10/11/11 - 11:05 pm
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So many people just need a

So many people just need a chance. This clown blows every chance he gets. Good riddance.

Craig Spinks
817
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Craig Spinks 10/12/11 - 03:01 am
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Hope Garcia stays off the

Hope Garcia stays off the sauce henceforth. And gets some tried-and-true help to encourage him to do so.

etlinks
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etlinks 10/12/11 - 05:56 am
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This article is not about

This article is not about likes or dislikes its about a young man that did not follow rules. Speculation about the reason for his dismissal is a moot point. I thank him for his positive efforts on the field and wish him well in his life as he moves foward.

CarlA
114
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CarlA 10/12/11 - 10:00 am
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Garcia needs to get his life

Garcia needs to get his life straightened out. From what I understand he truly does have a serious alcohol problem. Secondly, he needs to go get a job and be a father to his kids.

shrimp for breakfast
5011
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shrimp for breakfast 10/12/11 - 10:08 am
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I totally agree with

I totally agree with justthefacts. Shaw looked like a pro. He has a great arm!

55 F-100
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55 F-100 10/12/11 - 10:18 am
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Garcia needs to get a

Garcia needs to get a diploma, because pro-football is not in his future.

follower
47
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follower 10/12/11 - 10:46 am
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Based on his past, I'm

Based on his past, I'm shocked beyond words.

Willow Bailey
20252
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Willow Bailey 10/12/11 - 11:22 am
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I watch the Gamecocks just to

I watch the Gamecocks just to see Steve Spurrier throw his hat:) I hope Garcia gets his life on track; he's had a lot of understanding from Carolina and Spurrier.

kiwiinamerica
836
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kiwiinamerica 10/12/11 - 11:49 am
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Dang! I was hoping Garcia

Unpublished

Dang! I was hoping Garcia would stay on as the starter. If there was one person who had the ability to sabotage the Lamecock's run to the SEC East, it was him. His fondness for throwing a pick or butchering a play at a critical juncture could not be over stated.

Oh........and beating up Kentucky is like shooting fish in a barrel. Even Garcia would have shone against them. You'll find out how good Shaw is when you meet a real "D".

Anonymous0ne
25
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Anonymous0ne 10/12/11 - 12:46 pm
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As a former student athlete

As a former student athlete at USC I can confirm that periodic, random drug and alcohol tests are administered to all athletes and I had many over the course of my four years in attendance. Occasionally morning drug/alcohol tests were administered and we were notified at 5:30 a.m., or sooner, that we were to report to the designated facility within a small window of time to give our test. Mouths were swabbed for traces of alcohol and urine tests administered for alcohol and specific drugs. There were times many of us may have had drinks the previous night and tested fine, but those standard random morning tests were infrequent and mostly we were tested in the afternoon. The afternoon tests did not involve swabbing our mouths for alcohol but if there was a reason to suspect someone had an issue with alcohol or drinking the mouth swab could be performed on demand.

Should a team or the athletic department have a reasonable suspicion that a student athlete is partaking in illegal activities, the frequency and "non-randomness" of those tests can be increased should the athletic department choose, which is possibly the case for Garcia, though I am certainly not privy to any of the information regarding him.

Most teams have their own set of rules when it comes the number of "strikes" one would receive and their leniency on the alcohol tests may change depending on whether that team is "in season" and certainly the age of the individual as well.

Just a little info for those wondering about the testing procedures. They do happen for everyone under NCAA rules and regulations.

KSL
105863
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KSL 10/12/11 - 01:24 pm
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55 F--100, Garcia already has

55 F--100, Garcia already has his degree. He is/was a 5th year senior.

bdouglas
3507
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bdouglas 10/12/11 - 03:50 pm
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A few corrections to

A few corrections to comments...
Garcia's *grandfather* passed away, not his father.
Grandfather passed on Sept 28th.
Spurrier announces on Oct 3rd that Shaw will start against Kentucky.
'Substance' test given and failed on Oct. 4th.
Reports say he tested positive for alcohol AND marijuana
Grandfather's funeral on Oct 6th in Florida
Dismissed from the team on Oct 11th.
Garcia has one child. A son born in October '07.
Garcia graduated this past spring as a Sociology major, so he does actually have a diploma

Little Lamb
40139
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Little Lamb 10/12/11 - 04:13 pm
0
0

South Carolina DFACS probably

South Carolina DFACS probably doesn't have many openings right now. Good luck in finding a job for Garcia.

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