Gamecock Football: Time Well Tell with Stephen Garcia

garciaWith the latest suspension of South Carolina quarterback Stephen Garcia, only he is to blame and only he can improve the current situation enough to get back into good graces with the decision-makers to get back on the team.  Love him or hate him, he is who he is and has done what he has done.

My take on this is he needs to help himself first, just as AD Eric Hyman has stated.  Stephen needs to grow up.  I am highly disappointed, much like every USC fan.  Garcia is the best QB on the roster and him under center provides the best shot at repeating as SEC East champs.  Can Connor Shaw and/or Dylan Thompson lead South Carolina….surely…provided the offensive gameplan changes a bit and even more emphasis is placed on the run game.  I have faith in those two if Garcia is not ready to be a man and the leader of the team by game one.  You can not teach game experience, especially the type faced in the SEC, and both of these young men are lacking in that category.  I have a feeling Garcia will be back for USC and as I told many, he will be quaterbacking versus UGa.  He may not start in game one but he will be there.  I do hope Garcia matures and this is the last straw.  Too many chances – probably so but at this point it seems Garcia needs help.  Will he be back…not sure as only he can do the right things and prove he is ready.

I understand the frustration with Garcia.  Five strikes?  Come on.  Just listen to Spurrier and look at his face, he is highly frustrated.  But the team still believes in him and that has value in this scenario.  They have not lost faith in him and maybe we should not either.  What is your outlook?

Before you answer that quesion, let’s review some bits of information that has come to light about the situation before you judge….

The team attended the MVP (Mentors for Violence Prevention) meeting, which is required by the SEC for all conference institutions. Players from every school in the conference are required to attend. USC divided their team into three groups, so there were roughly 30 total players in the room for each session. Our understanding is no coaches nor athletic department personnel were in the room.

Early on in the session, Garcia became argumentative and disruptive and was told by multiple teammates to stop what he was doing. He didn’t listen and was subsequently asked by the administrator of the event to stop, but he became even more of a hinderence and used profanity. The administrator, pulled him aside for a private conversation to ask Garcia to cooperate. At that point, the administrator smelled alcohol on his breath and asked Garcia to leave the session.  Not sure if the administrator informed Spurrier or Hyman about this or possibly both.  But word got to Spurrier and Hyman about this.  {Remember this is a SEC event.}

Garcia later met with Coach Spurrier and admitted to him that he “had a few beers” in celebration of Kyle Nunn’s birthday prior to the SEC mentoring event. He was subsequently suspended by Spurrier, Eric Hyman and USC President Pastides for these unexcusable actions.

Since the suspension was given, Garcia has come forward and asked for help with his alcohol issues. I don’t know what the extent of the treatment will be as of yet, but some form of rehab is probably the only way he will return to the team this summer.  Most important in this is Garcia gets help as he is about to graduate and is a father.  Everyone likes to have fun but you also have to be responsible in life.

Garcia is not “the victim” in this case. He made a conscious decision to act out and not represent himself in the way he should have. Had this been his only transgression, it wouldn’t be as big a deal.  What makes this a big deal is when you begin considering his past behavior and the fact that he was already on thin ice with Spurrier. For his sake, I hope he gets the help he needs and learns from his mistakes. Time will tell.

About flounder

Two-time grad of THE University of South Carolina.