Posted on: April 6, 2011 6:16 pm
Edited on: April 6, 2011 6:21 pm
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.
Posted on: March 28, 2011 11:36 am
Posted by Jerry Hinnen
We wouldn't go nearly so far as to say that South Carolina's spring practices have been cursed. But we also don't think there's any arguing with the fact that -- as the old Chinese curse goes -- Steve Spurrier is living in interesting times this spring.
Start with last Thursday, when (as you may have heard) Gamecock signee, consensus national No. 1 recruit, and action figure Jadeveon Clowney was briefly detained by police at a Columbia bar Clowney had entered unlawfully. Though Clowney was not arrested and cleared of any wrongdoing in the robbery that led to the detainment, the incident made national headlines nonetheless.
So to emphasize his (future) player's innocence, Spurrier elected last Friday to do what any other coach would do in this situation: arrange for the local police chief to stop by during his post-practice meeting with the media and handcuff him in a simulated detainment , of course. And yes, via The Big Spur , there's video of this handcuffing:
When we say "any other coach" would do the same thing here, we actually mean "no other coach," naturally. It's great to see that even if Spurrier isn't quite lighting up scoreboards the way he did in his Florida salad days, his sense of the theatrical has remained entirely intact.
By his own admission, though, if his quarterbacks's performance thus far this spring is any indication, his offense this fall won't have much use for flash or theatricality. Stephen Garcia and Connor Shaw did not fare well in Saturday's first scrimmage of spring camp, and Spurrier did little to hide his disappointment:
Senior Stephen Garcia, in his first scrimmage action since his suspension last week, was 5 for 13 for 51 yards ... Backup Connor Shaw was often shaky in his decision-making, going 4 for 14 for 47 yards and an interception on a deep ball. He did make one nice throw on an out route to Lamar Scruggs, a 14-yard pickup as he was getting hit.
Complaining, loudly, about his quarterbacks is obviously nothing new for Spurrier. But he's right that those stats are the furthest thing from inspiring, particularly considering Garcia and Shaw were going up against a secondary that finished dead last in the SEC in opponent's quarterback rating in conference play. Even with a back as superhuman as Lattimore, running the ball 50 times a game isn't going to produce a second straight trip to Atlanta.
Spurrier knows that, which is why his frustration with his quarterbacks is so palpable. It's just one more interesting story to watch in what's becoming a very interesting spring in Columbia.
Posted on: March 15, 2011 5:47 pm
Edited on: March 15, 2011 6:03 pm
Posted by Tom Fornelli
Spring practice began at South Carolina on Tuesday, and it seems that the Gamecocks are beginning their SEC East title defense without the quarterback that helped lead them to the SEC Championship game last December. Stephen Garcia was not at practice on Tuesday, as it seems he has been suspended for the nefarious "violation of team rules" by head coach Steve Spurrier.
Garcia has been suspended for the start of spring practice for a violation of team rules, a source with knowledge of the situation told The State. Garcia, a senior who is trying to hold off sophomore Connor Shaw this spring, could return to the team in time for Saturday’s scrimmage at Williams-Brice Stadium.
Coach Steve Spurrier is expected to be available for comment following today’s practice.It has been confirmed that Garcia's suspension will last at least a week.
As for what those team rules were, we can't be entirely sure, though we do have an idea. There were reports earlier this month that Garcia, during the week of South Carolina's appearance in the Chik-Fil-A Bowl against Florida State, held himself quite a party in his hotel room. According to the story, when his coaches found out about the party, they forced him to run off his hangover on a treadmill and thought about suspending him for the game, or at least holding him out for a series.
The suspension never happened, but Garcia did go on to have a rather terrible game for the Gamecocks.
Whether that story is true, or is the cause of this suspension, nobody knows yet, and we probably never will. What we do know is that this isn't the first time Stephen Garcia has been suspended for a spring practice, and that Spurrier has made no secret of the fact that Connor Shaw is going to have a chance to earn the starting job this spring. Being suspended isn't the best way for Garcia to hold on to it.
Posted on: November 30, 2010 10:56 am
Edited on: November 30, 2010 1:22 pm
Posted by Jerry Hinnen
Stephen Garcia left the first meeting between Auburn and South Carolina a little worse for wear, taking a knock to the head (though not one severe enough to be ruled a concussion) that helped prompt Steve Spurrier -- who said Garcia was "woozy" -- to turn to true freshman Connor Shaw for the game's final two drives. Shaw threw interceptions on both those possessions, ending any chance of a late Gamecock comback, so Carolina knows already it will have to have Garcia healthy and at his best to keep pace with the Tigers' SEC -best offense.
Unfortunately, Spurrier announced yesterday that may be a luxury they simply won't have:
Garcia hurt his right thumb in Saturday night's victory over Clemson when his hand struck a Clemson defender's helmet, an injury he addressed after the game. However, USC head coach Steve Spurrier revealed late Sunday afternoon that Garcia has a 'banged-up' left (non-throwing) shoulder as well.If Spurrier's expecting him back at practice by midweek, Garcia remains likely to play in Atlanta. But if you're a Gamecock fan, "He should be OK, we think" can't sound encouraging, particularly given Auburn's penchant for knocking opposing quarterbacks (Ryan Mallett , Greg McElroy , Jarrett Lee , Garcia) out of the game. There's also been a credible report that Garcia's injury is severe enough to put his arm in a sling on Sunday. (For those of you interested in such things, Vegas has reportedly taken the game off the board in response to Garcia's status.)
When all is said and done, expect Garcia to suit up, take the field against the Tigers, and deliver the same kind of gutty effort that's always marked his tenure in Columbia. But if he's not 100 percent, Carolina's already long-seeming odds against the Tigers will get that much longer.
Posted on: September 29, 2010 10:21 am
Edited on: September 29, 2010 10:36 am
Posted by Chip Patterson
After three turnover-less quarters, the South Carolina offense became their own worst enemy in the fourth quarter of their 35-27 loss to Auburn on Saturday. Head coach Steve Spurrier opted to pull quarterback Stephen Garcia after the starter gave away two fumbles to the Auburn defense in the fourth quarter. Ol' Ball coach replaced him with freshman backup Connor Shaw. There had been rumors coming into the season that Shaw might challenge Garcia for the starting job, and Spurrier's didn't help defuse the quarterback controversy.
But as the Gamecocks run through their off-week practice schedule, Spurrier is saying that Garcia is his man. At least for now.
"We plan on him starting against Alabama. He actually played three quarters pretty well and then obviously the two fumbles were really bad plays. Now, can he stop fumbling? We're going to give him a chance to stop fumbling. He hasn't thrown a lot of picks this year. Other than the fumbles, he's played pretty decently."Spurrier's defense of his quarterback continued, as he seemed to place much of the blame for their inefficiency on the offensive line.
"I don't have an answer, you need to ask (offensive line) Coach (Shawn) Elliott that. Maybe we just can't block guys well enough to allow our quarterbacks to stand back there a long time. We're stuck with what we got. When losing begins to hurt these guys as much as it hurts some of us, we'll have a good team here at South Carolina. But I'm not convinced losing hurts these guys much, or else they'd play better. They would really play their assignments and play better. They're either not smart enough to play or losing doesn't hurt - one or the other, because they're big, strong guys. Our line looks pretty good running out there. They look pretty good and then the ball is snapped and sometimes we just don't compete hard enough. But they're our guys and we're going to try to get them to play better."Goodness gracious Ol' Ball Coach is yapping. Clearly an attempt to light a fire under the big boys up front, looking for a little improvement before the Gamecocks host top-ranked Alabama on October 9. Realistically, there HAS to be improvement if the Gamecocks want to stand a chance against the Alabama front seven.
The Gamecocks have enough talent to challenge the Tide, especially on their home turf. But the turnovers and mental errors will need to be limited, if not completely eliminated, in order to do so.
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Posted on: September 27, 2010 11:10 am
Posted by Tom Fornelli
Prepare to be shocked, ladies and gentlemen, for I come with news sure to shake the very foundation of your being. Steve Spurrier, a coach who has always showed the utmost patience with every quarterback he has ever coached, is thinking of making a change at quarterback at South Carolina.
I'll let you compose yourselves before I continue.
Okay, so it's not that shocking, but it is true. Following the Gamecocks loss to Auburn on Saturday night that saw Spurrier's team turn the ball over four turnovers in the fourth quarter -- including two fumbles on consecutive drives by Stephen Garcia -- the ol' ball coach is wondering if he'll be better off with freshman Connor Shaw under center when Alabama comes to town.
"I don't know what we'll do," Spurrier said about the quarterbacks. "We've got too far to go for (a decision). But we're not going to have competition.
Spurrier was referring to Garcia's penchant for putting his head down at the point of contact. As Spurrier put it, "I think he closes his eyes and he dives right in there. That's a recipe for disaster." So Spurrier is using his concern for Garcia's well-being for his decision this time. Of course, while Garcia was responsible for two of South Carolina's four fourth quarter turnovers, Connor Shaw was responsible for the other two with his two interceptions.
Personally I think South Carolina's problem against Auburn wasn't their quarterback. It was the 334 rushing yards the defense surrendered to Cam Newton and Michael Dyer. With Alabama bringing both Mark Ingram and Trent Richardson with them to Jordan-Brice Stadium on Saturday, that's the area the team should be worried about fixing.