Tag:Eric Hyman
Posted on: January 20, 2012 12:20 pm

Gamecock trustee: count cross-division games less

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

One South Carolina Board of Trustees member has a proposal to solve the "problem" of his Gamecocks missing out on the 2011 SEC championship game to Georgia, despite beating the Bulldogs head-to-head: make East division games like that one count more than the cross-divisional games that cost Carolina the East title.

That board member, Chuck Allen, recently asked Gamecock athletic director Eric Hyman to request the SEC count intra-divisional games as a full game in the standings and cross-divisional games as only a half-game. If put into practice, the change would have given the 2011 Gamecocks -- 5-0 against the East, but just 1-2 against the West, including a road loss to an Arkansas team Georgia missed -- a trip to Atlanta.

“This (proposal) takes the randomness out of the non-divisional schedule,” Allen told the Anderson (S.C.) Independent Mail. “It doesn’t eliminate it, but it does reduce it. It just seems fair that the team that won all its division games would be the division champ.”

Per Allen, Hyman is expected to pass on the proposal when the SEC convenes to develop a schedule for 2013 and its permanent cross-divisional rotations. Allen (and Hyman) are no doubt just as unhappy with the league's cross-divisional matchups for 2012, though, as they were for 2011, since the projected gap in the difficulty of the Gamecocks' and Bulldogs' respective West opponents has only gotten worse; Carolina will take on the Razorbacks and defending SEC champion LSU (both of which feature in Bruce Feldman's early 2012 top 10) while Georgia gets Auburn and Ole Miss.

“When I talked to (Hyman) his response to me was that he never contemplated it and so he said, ‘Yes, it sounds like a good idea,'" Allen said. "'If you’ll put it in writing (Hyman said), I’ll use it as a vehicle and take it to the conference meeting and we’ll introduce the proposal, argue for it and see what we can do.’”

According to the SEC, though, what the Gamecocks "can do" in the way of overhauling a system that's been in place since the league's 1992 divisional split is "not much." League associate commissioner Charles Bloom said point-blank he does not expect the measure to gain much traction. 

“The philosophy of the league has always been that all conference games are weighted the same,” he told The State newspaper.

We're not unsymapthetic towards Allen and Hyman in this situation; it's not entirely fair that the Gamecocks swept the East and still didn't win the division, and it's not entirely fair they've drawn the Bayou Bengals in the SEC's one-off 2012 schedule while Georgia's hosting the downtrodden Rebels. But our estimate of the number of things in college football that aren't entirely fair checks in at a round 8 bajillion, and we doubt Allen and Hyman are going to ask for all 8 bajillion to be corrected. 

Eventually, inevitably, the league's cross-divisional rotation and West opponent strength will cycle around to give the Gamecocks an edge over the rest of the East, Bulldogs included; will Allen and Hyman still want to make cross-divisional games count less at that point? We seriously doubt it. 

Want more on Gamecocks football? Follow our South Carolina CBSSports.com RapidReports by writer Josh Ward. 

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Posted on: October 11, 2011 2:01 pm
Edited on: October 11, 2011 2:50 pm

Stephen Garcia dismissed from Gamecocks

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

A failed "substance test" has brought the star-crossed Stephen Garcia era at South Carolina to its final, official end.

Gamecock athletic director Eric Hyman issued a statement Tuesday that Garcia has been dismissed fron the Carolina football program, effective immediately.

“Being a student-athlete at the University of South Carolina is a privilege, not a right,” said Hyman, “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.”

CBSSports.com South Carolina RapidReporter Josh Kendall reported Tuesday that two sources confirmed that Garcia had failed a "random substance test." Per Kendall, Garcia was reportedly informed of the school's decision Tuesday morning.

“We are all saddened that this has occurred,” Steve Spurrier said in the school statement. “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. We wish him the best.”

The news comes on the heels of Garcia's benching for the Gamecocks' Week 6 win over Kentucky. Garcia was leading the FBS with nine interceptions thrown when Steve Spurrier elected to go with Connor Shaw as his teams starting quarterback. Garcia did not make an appearance against the Wildcats, with sophomore Andrew Clifford handling mop-up duties in the 54-3 blowout.

Garcia has had a long history of off-field problems and suspensions. The senior has reportedly been on his last disciplinary strike ever since a March incident at a team function resulted in his suspension from spring practice. Hyman and Spurrier both set up "guidelines" for Garcia's return, guidelines which Spurrier said he had been following with commitment over the summer, resulting in his reinstatement just before fall camp.

Garcia's career wraps up with 34 career starts, 7,597 passing yards, 47 passing touchdowns, and 41 interceptions. Though he'll likely be remembered for never quite living up to his vast dual-threat potential, Garcia will also go down as the quarterback who led the Gamecocks to their first-ever win over a No. 1 team (vs. Alabama in 2010, in a 17-for-20 performance that will stand as testament to what he could accomplish at maximum focus) and SEC East division title.
Posted on: September 9, 2011 3:18 pm

NCAA suspends Gamecock WR Byrd for four games

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

The NCAA apparently doesn't think much of the Student Athlete Mentoring Foundation.

A day after the Florida defensive lineman Sharrif Floyd was suspended two games for his involvement with the Delaware-based S.A.M. (a decision which drew down as much furious wrath from Will Muschamp as it's possible to get in a single prepared statement), South Carolina freshman wide receiver Damiere Byrd was suspended four games for his association with the same organization.

Byrd sat out the Gamecocks' win over East Carolina because of S.A.M.-related concerns over his eligibilty and will also miss Carolina's games against Georgia, Navy and Vanderbilt. He will return for the Gamecocks' Oct. 1 home game against Auburn.

Like Floyd, Byrd will have to make a $2,700 repayment of "recruiting inducements and impermissible benefits" to charity before the NCAA will restore his eligibility. Unlike Floyd, however (who the NCAA found to have not received his benefits from a Florida booster), some of Byrd's were reportedly offered by a Gamecock booster. According to a statement by the NCAA, those booster's benefits "included lodging, transportation and meals during multiple unofficial visits to the University of South Carolina. It also included several parties at the booster’s home and gift cards."

S.A.M. president Steve Gordon told Columbia newspaper The State that while Byrd took Foundation-sponsored trips, Byrd's family -- including father Adrian Byrd, the S.A.M vice-president -- paid for them rather the Foundation itself.

Carolina athletic director Eric Hyman called Byrd an "outstanding individual" who "had no idea that being part of the Student Athlete Mentoring Foundation would in any way affect his college eligibility." Hyman suggested the program might appeal on Byrd's behalf, but that Byrd would remain ineligible while the appeal was heard.

A consensus four-star recruit from Sicklerville, N.J., Byrd made waves throughout fall camp and was in line to join the Gamecocks' receiving rotation (though a starting job in the veteran unit remained unlikely). A redshirt following the suspension is possible.

Posted on: May 30, 2011 11:12 am
Edited on: May 30, 2011 11:14 am

Stephen Garcia reinstated by South Carolina

Posted by Bryan Fischer

There's burying news and there's BURYING news. Kudos to South Carolina for announcing a bit of news that was expected for months but was finally made official Monday morning in the middle of news that Ohio State coach Jim Tressel resigned: quarterback Stephen Garcia will be reinstated to the team and be allowed to participate in voluntary summer workouts. He had been serving an indefinite suspension since April 6.

“Stephen is returning to the team on a probationary basis and still has to do some things here for the next two or three months to prove himself worthy of being a student-athlete at South Carolina,” said head coach Steve Spurrier in a release. “We will give him another chance and hopefully he can do the right things and represent the University in a first-class manner.”
Garcia will be re-evaluated prior to the start of fall camp, scheduled to begin August 2nd. He was suspended all of spring practice earlier this year after a series of incidents, starting with allegedly partying before the Gamecocks' bowl game last season and, later, not representing himself at a school function.

“Being a student-athlete at the University of South Carolina is a privilege, not a right,” said Athletics Director Eric Hyman. “We explain to all of our student-athletes that there are consequences for their actions. Our main goal for Stephen at this time is to assist him in developing the decision-making skills that are needed for managing life in general, whether as a student-athlete, a person, an employee, a spouse or a parent.

“So the ball clearly rests in Stephen Garcia’s hands.”

Garcia has started 28 consecutive games for South Carolina and was expected to be the starter for a team coming off an SEC Eastern Division title last season, the first in school history. He graduated in May with a degree in sociology but did not pursue transfer options at the time, leading many to read between the lines and see that Garcia would likely be back with the team for the beginning of the season. With today's announcement, it appears that is all but assured.

Posted on: May 26, 2011 2:44 pm

Spurrier says Garcia has 'changed'

Posted by Tom Fornelli

The status of South Carolina quarterback Stephen Garcia has been unclear for the last few months. After being suspended for the umpteenth time -- give or take an umpteen -- this spring, there had been some questions about whether or not Garcia had run out of chances in Columbia. Well, for the last few weeks, the signs have been that Garcia would be returning to the Gamecocks for the 2011 season. On Thursday head coach Steve Spurrier gave perhaps the biggest indication of what will happen with Garcia this fall, as the Ol' Ball Coach said that his quarterback has "changed."

"It seems like he's changed his ways," Spurrier told The Post and Courier. "I hope the university lets him back on the team." 

Spurrier also went on to say that Garcia "should" get a partial reinstatement as early as next week that would allow him to workout with the team, though it would not guarantee that he'll be cleared to play in the fall. Still, the fact that Spurrier seems to be on his side can only help Garcia's chances as Spurrier along with school president Harris Pastides and athletic director Eric Hyman will have the ultimate say in Garcia's fate.

Garcia still has a list of requirements that the school wants to see him complete and maintain, and he also has receive clearance from medical professionals who oversee Garcia's involvement in an alcohol abuse program. So it seems that as long as Garcia doesn't step out of line or cause more trouble at South Carolina, he'll be playing football again this fall.

That being said, this is still Stephen Garcia, and given his history of behavior since coming to South Carolina, you can't just assume he's going to be a perfect citizen. 

Posted on: April 6, 2011 6:16 pm
Edited on: April 6, 2011 6:21 pm

Stephen Garcia suspended indefinitely

Posted by Tom Fornelli

In what has seemingly become a spring tradition in Columbia, South Carolina quarterback Stephen Garcia found himself suspended for all of spring practice in March, which was allegedly due to some partying he did down in Atlanta while the Gamecocks were in town for the Chik-Fil-A Bowl. Well, now it seems that Garcia's suspension won't just be for spring practice, as it's had the indefinite tag added to it according to athletic director Eric Hyman.

"Being a student-athlete at the University of South Carolina is a privilege, not a right," said Hyman. "We have expectations for our student-athletes and we make them aware that there are consequences for their actions. Stephen has exhibited behavior that is unacceptable for one of our student-athletes. Therefore, he has forfeited the privilege to participate in any football related activity until further notice."

As for what Garcia did to earn this newest suspension, that hasnt' been announced as of yet. Though The Post & Courier's Travis Haney tweeted that he "heard rumbling earlier in afternoon of another incident" that he said was minor compared to what happened at the bowl game. Haney also tweeted that Garcia "did not represent himself well at a school function." As for whatever that could mean, well, let's just say I have my theories.

Whatever the case is, Garcia isn't doing much to endear himself to South Carolina or Steve Spurrier, and I get the feeling that Connor Shaw will see a lot more playing time this season. Maybe even all of it.
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com