April 23, 2014

Let’s cut Garcia some slack on this one

Stephen Garcia is having a hard time running away from his past


Well, it’s happened.  Again!  USC quarterback Stephen Garcia has been shooed away from the program for being bad.  If you’re keeping score at home, that’s suspension #5 for the rising senior.  At a time in his life when Garcia should be acting more man like, he still, sometimes, slips into teenage mode. 

But if you’re a Gamecock fan reading this, let me make a suggestion to you.  And you might find this hard to believe coming from this website.  Give Garcia a break on this one.  Without going into all the details, I am confident enough to write in this space that I think Garcia, in this case, is as much a victim of his past than of anything new  he’s done. 

From what’s been told to me about what happened with Garcia at the gathering Tuesday night, I find it hard to believe he was given a suspension.  And based on the reaction from a number of his teammates, they support him totally.  It’s pretty amazing that after all the travails Garcia has been thru, he still has the support of the lockerroom.  And even though he said he was part of the suspension decision, I’m not convinced Steve Spurrier agrees with the decision.

Garcia will now be skewered in the media, locally, regionally and nationally.  This is where his past haunts him.  And I am by no means trying to defend what he’s done before this.  I’m just saying that in this case, based on what I know, the punishment is a little over the top.

Garcia will be back in early summer.  He will go back to work with his teammates.  He will be USC’s starting quarterback against East Carolina in early September.  And I expect him to have a big senior season.  Say what you will about his off the field issues, the guy is a warrior between the lines.  The question is, will he step over the line of good behaviour again before taking that first snap?  It’s apparent that, based on what happened this time, that line is thinner than ever.


  1. John Q. says:

    bottom line he was hung out on this one. Key speaker at this confidential meeting for players told him to leave. Heard it was a meeting about Player “Image” of all things…imagine that. SG came from a birthday party which is irrelevent but he made a comments referring to being dogged all the time (while using one or two swear words )no matter what he did..because he swore he was asked to leave I was told. As for the comment it somehow (through an insider possibly) ended up on the desk of who supposidly has been dogging him in the media and to other teammates. Take it fwiw.

  2. You gotta be kidding? Cut him some slack? Someone needs to man up and get this kid in rehab for his alcohol problem instead of finding a way to make it okay so he can be a QB. He has had multiple alcohol related issues and he is a senior in college, this does not bode well for the rest of his life if he doesn’t get it under control.

  3. Couldn’t agree more, Phil.

    It seems like I’m hearing the same things that you are re: this “incident”…much to do about nothing. If this had been any other player (football or otherwise) they would have been called into their coach’s office and scolded. But based on Garcia’s track record he automatically gets the worst.

    Can’t wait to see #5 lead Carolina to the SEC Championship in 2011! Go Cocks!

  4. What happened? You just can’t write an article and leave that open ended. If he should not have been suspended then you need to say what he did or did not do. Because as far as I see it is his 5th suspension. Enough is enough, and without any reason he should have not been suspended that is what most fans see and they are going to feel the identical way I do.

  5. Rumors everywhere but I REALLY appreciate your comments. Seems more details need to be aired/published. The previous 4 problems should stand on their own. I hope the coach makes his decision on this situation on it’s own.

  6. Stephen is not a bad apple and made some poor choices when he first stepped foot on USC’s campus. This is bizarro to me and I’m a Georgia Bulldog Fan. Garcia is one heck of a QB and has accomplished just as much as Darth Visor while at USC. Coincidence? I met Stephen a while back and he was a humble kid considering his big man on campus status. Then again, history proves Spurrier has a problem with all of his QB’s. Connor, you’re next. It appears the only way to stay out of Spurriers cross hairs is to spend all your free time in the film room or in church. Stephen is the best QB you have and SC will fall faster than Obama’s ratings if he’s not taking snaps to begin the season. Good luck, Stephen. This Bulldog is pulling for you.

  7. Barbara Bynum says:

    Me thinks it’s much ado about nothing. But, then looking at it thru non-rose colored glasss, I think he’s a victim of a combination of arrogance and stupidity. He knows the spotlight is on him, yet he defies reasonable behavior. Is he being “picked” on? Sure.
    Why did he have to cut his hair this spring? Look around SOS – there are plenty of heads with much longer hair. Will he be back by fall? Sure, unless he says he’s had enough and takes his toys and goes home.

  8. Gator here. One of the things I have been amazed with since SOS has gotten to SC is how “merciful” he has become. He hardly had any issues at Florida with discipline because one screw-up and you were gone. I always told folks I thought it was because Spurrier was so supremely confident (ego) in his own skills to win with anyone. He use to believe in giving people second chances – at another school! Why he has changed at SC, I do not know. It is just going to remain ugly as long as Garcia is around. He would have been gone his first spring under Spurrier during his UF days.

    We still love Spurrier, and most of us like to see you guys do well, except when playing us.

  9. Gamecock says:

    The speaker at this event was the athletic director’s wife wasnt it? So Eric Hyman decided he’d have to defend his wife. I dont think the suspension was deserved either

  10. He had been drinking and went to a leadership seminar. Was being disruptive and was asked to leave. Not the behavior you look for in a “leader”. I would be embarrased to have him as part of a football program I supported

  11. Cut him some slack?

    I don’t care if he got busted for murder or for jaywalking, when you’re on a fine line, you walk it.

    This, “well, THIS time it really wasn’t so bad,” excuse is just that, an excuse. So after four suspensions, which in and of itself is laughable and arguably inexcusable, for our 5th year senior quarterback, one of which he just got back from and “guaranteed” we had seen the last of his mishaps, we should cut him some slack?

    And what’s this “based on what I know,” stuff? Why not tell us what you know instead of asking us to take your word for it? It’s like the boy who cried woof. Regardless of the severeness of what he did last night, the fact is our 5th year senior QB is suspended for the 5th time.

    Maybe after 4 times, it doesn’t really take a whole lot to bring more punishment.

  12. Garcia should not be cut any slack…yes, with most players it would be a scolding from the coach and a slap on the wrist, and yes, it is his past that is causing the stir and what some consider excess discipline. No one can deny, though, that Garcia, himself, is the reason he has a questionable past and in life there are consequences to our decisions. This is a consequence from his past bad decisions. It applies to us all.

  13. Couldn’t disagree more, Phil. Do you not recall that following SG’s keying and lying incident followed by his underage, on-campus drinking incident, he was told on no uncertain terms that one mopre transagression, and he’s gone. Well. there have been 3 more “reported” incidents. Nothing happened to him. There have been “unreported” incidents.

    Your arument that he is a warrior is debatable. At times he is, but not always. But, is it relevant to this issue? Squeaky Watson was a warrior too. Ooops!

    I’m over Garcia. He is well above and beyond a “boys will be boys” type of guy. He is a distraction and an embarrassment.

  14. KINGSTON says:


  15. Of course he is a victim of his past; we all are. We all have to deal with the consequences of our past behavior. If someone is convicted of a crime multiple times, the subsequent punishments will get more severe.

    Let’s suppose I get in two wrecks in six months and my rates go up after a third fender bender. What might my insurance company say if I tell them they should “cut me some slack” because I am “a victim of my past”? The very idea is ridiculous.

    I see no reason to “cut him some slack”. There is a precedent for less tolerance for multiple offences.

    This article is beyond silly.

  16. Michael says:

    over 4 other chances. He’s 23 years old, the face of our entire team, and the supposed leader of the team. Act like! Its over Garcia. You not the Adminerstration, not the media, not anyone else threw your chance to play away. I was the biggest Garcia fan, but after these two incidents before the bowl games ( Outback and the Chick Fil-A bowl games) and now this. Enough is enough.

  17. If Gracia was at any other postion ,he would be back in Tampa.What i can’t understand is if this sets presidence for future players.Spurrier has not shown leadership with setting guide lines.His winning at any cost will be the down fall in the future.Continued bad behavior without a proper action from the coach is a cancer.

  18. Thanks Dr. Phil!! You must’ve picked up that 10cent psychology from tv.

    You and your fellow gamecocks are unable to identify the real problem. Garcia’s just a party looking for a place to happen. The REAL problem is a coach who’d give ANYBODY a pass after 2 team suspensions….much less 5…….Years of oversigning and then “culling the herd”, the pending NCAA sanctions, allowing some players an unlimited number of free passes—Spurrier’s no better than that other gamecock model of ethics—Lou Holtz………Tell Oprah Hi


    Cut the kid some slack! he is a senior in college do you people remimber college? drinking is just part of the experence, and it was a team mates birthday

  20. GatorGene says:

    If you are on a Zero-tolerance policy because of 4 previous suspensions, you don’t show up drunk at a mandatory leadership event. And then get loud. And then swear at people. He should probably have been dismissed from the football team, not just suspended. What part of Zero-tolerance doesn’t Garcia get? What part of Zero-tolerance doesn’t the administration get?

    So now Garcia gets his 5th “second chance”.

    And the USC sports administration gets to revel in being ‘enablers’. Of course, Garcia won’t grow up. There are no significant consequences to his actions for him to learn from.

  21. “Cut the kid some slack! he is a senior in college do you people remimber college? drinking is just part of the experence, and it was a team mates birthday”

    This is the kind of idiotic, blame it on someone else, excuses excuses attitude that sadly many people like this guy, subscribe to.

    If you owned a company and you had employees repeatedly break rule after rule, finding themselves in trouble time and time again, would you keep saying, “cut him some slack” ?

    If so, there’s less hope for you than your post implies.

    A 5th year senior suspended for the 5th time in his career, and twice during his final year.

    That folks, is laughing stock material. Thanks for another black eye, Garcia.

    I wonder when he’ll just literally start pissing on us fans.

  22. I agree that this was a bit “trigger happy” and is really an extension of punishment for his past trangressions. However, what does stand out is the re-occurence of alcohol driven (bad) behavior. Ironically, we may have a real life “Joe Kane” playing in the stadium where “The Program” was filmed.

    Unless there are other instances of Garcia getting in trouble that have been kept in house and he’s on “Double Secret Probation,” this is very excessive. Perhaps some substance abuse counseling or mandatory AA meeting attendance to help TEACH this student athlete the dangers of alcohol may be more appropriate and impactful. And, if that is the real issue, provide a great opporutnity to end his years at Carolina as a positive example by overcoming it.

  23. Gator Fan. Look, why doesn’t someone sit down over a cold pitcher with this kid and explain that he needs to clean up his act.

  24. Quiet Riot says:

    Seems to me that the University and Hyman owe Mr. Garcia an apology.

    From what I’ve read, the issue stems from a position of superiority and who has the gold and makes the rules. Garcia was being ridiculed in public to his face and he defended himself as any brash young man might by taking exception to it. This shows he has pride and self-esteem. Kudos to him. Now, how does Hyman save face and his job?

  25. The speaker said Tebow was the perfect example of a great branding and leadership Garcia was an example of the opposite. When another teammate asked about Cam Newton the speaker told him not to interrupt. Then Stephen said F this and was ejected.

  26. Sorry he said this is bullsh** then he and the other teammate were ejected.

  27. The story of what happened at the meeting is slowly but surely coming out. Garcia drank before attending. big no no. Defending himself when someone verbally insults him for his past actions….wtf mate? The guy probably does have problems with alcohol, which needs to be addressed. but taking football away from him in no way will help. probably make him drink more. if everyone wants to “help” him, stick up for the kid who with the help of his team won the gamecocks their first SEC east championship. Get off the big media crap, time to quit jumping on the media band wagon and continuing the verbal assaults on the guy! and as far as spurrier being soft…no way. he does what he has to to keep his job, and help teach a lesson. If garcia really was all that bad, yeah spurrier would have booted him along time ago and rode out his contract at usc. oh yeah…..spurrier is making an extra 800,000. this year. must be doing something right. in all, cant wait to see Garcia and crew on the field in 2011. GO COCKS!