Steve Spurrier didn’t want to talk about Stephen Garcia Tuesday. He quickly mentioned his senior quarterback had been suspended for a week and tried to move on. When he was pressed about the issue, he walked away. I cannot recall one time in Spurrier’s tenure at USC when he just walked away from an interview. Not one.
The bottom line is Spurrier does not want to talk about the alleged incident in Atlanta involving Stephen Garcia the week of the bowl game. He doesn’t want to explain why he waited until now to suspend him or why he didn’t send him home after the infraction. Or why he wasn’t he benched. Or why the guy who was told he was on a zero tolerance policy will be allowed back on the team after another violation.
We know the answer. Garcia gives the Gamecocks the best chance to win the SEC next season and Spurrier isn’t going to sacrifice what could be his final chance at a conference title by booting Garcia from the team.
It makes you wonder why Spurrier bothered to suspend Garcia at all. Is forcing him to sit out the first week of Spring practice really going to teach him a lesson? He didn’t seem to learn much the first two times he was suspended from the team.
Stunningly, Spurrier believes, or says he believes, this will prove a point to Garcia.
“Sometimes when players are removed from a team hopefully they will appreciate the privilege they have of practicing with their teammates,” Spurrier said. It’s no fun not being on a team.”
Again, this is a guy that has been suspended in three of his five years on campus. What makes you think he’s going to get the message this time? Spurrier went on to say that players have to follow the rules if they want to stay on the team. I guess he means every player expect Garcia.
The really troubling part about all of this is the fact that all of Garcia’s troubles stem from the same thing: alcohol. With the exception of the infamous car keying incident the three other major off the field issues with Garcia involved drinking. From the moment he stepped foot on campus Garcia was known as a guy that liked to party. Anyone connected to the social scene in Columbia knows or knows about Garcia’s reputation as a big drinker.
And you can save the “we were all young and in college once” excuse. This is not normal behavior. This is a dangerous pattern.
Steve Spurrier doesn’t’ want to answer questions from the media on this topic but here are a few questions the HBC may want to ask himself:
Is Stephen Garcia an alcoholic? Does he have a drinking problem? Is he getting the help he needs? Is suspending him for a week and letting him resume his lifestyle helping him or further enabling him?
These are all questions that need to be addressed because sadly it appears we are all witnessing another case of a prominent figure self destructing before our very eyes.