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.