Steve Spurrier and the South Carolina Gamecocks have dismissed quarterback Stephen Garcia from the team, sources indicated on Tuesday.
One week after being removed from the starting line-up, Garcia fowl-ed up for the last time as a Gamecock college football player. He has a litany of poor decisions and off the field transgressions on his resume, and this final incident (allegedly, a failed alcohol test) was the straw that broke The Big Spur’s back.
South Carolina Athletic Director Eric Hyman released an official statement:
"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. For Stephen to return to and remain with the football squad this fall, we agreed on several established guidelines. Unfortunately, he has not been able to abide by those guidelines and has therefore forfeited his position on the roster. We wish him the best of luck as he moves forward in life.”
Garcia is the SEC’s career active leader in total offense (8,374), touchdowns responsible for (62), completions (589), passing yards (7,597) and passing touchdowns (47). Well, I should say, was the SEC’s career active leader. The stubborn and immature signal caller could have easily finished in the SEC’s top 10 all-time in total offense (9,577) and might have even slipped into the top 10 of passing yards (9,287). He posted a 20-14 record as a starter and is statistically the third-best player to ever play quarterback at South Carolina.
Garcia’s story is a sad tale of short-sighted and juvenile pig-headedness. He was blessed with tremendous physical talents and abilities that few human beings will ever possess. He was given the reins to an SEC championship-caliber offense. And he was a starting quarterback in the SEC Championship Game.
And he chose to throw it all away. Stephen Garcia has no one to blame but himself.
Connor Shaw is now the captain of the Gamecock ship that still has its sights set on Atlanta. And South Carolina did roll up 54 points against Kentucky in Shaw's first trip back to the starting line-up last Saturday. However, the Gamecocks' SEC title hopes might have vanished with Garcia's departure.
It normally would be outrageous to see a school dismiss a player who ranks at or near the top of most career statistical categories for his position, but unfortunately for Garcia and Spurrier, the only shocking element to this pathetic story is that it didn’t happen two years earlier.
-by Braden Gall (@AthlonBraden on twitter)