Based on the information that is out there along with what we are hearing from our sources, it is looking more and more likely that Stephen Garcia will be returning to the USC football team. While this is far from official, we have been told by a source close to Garcia that it is Garcia’s intention to rejoin the Gamecock team. It also appears USC will be receptive to Garcia’s wishes so long as he continues to demonstrate he is serious about working on his personal problems.
Garcia needs to pass a couple of classes this semester and then he will graduate in May. As Steve Spurrier noted on the SEC teleconference today, that would make him eligible to transfer to another school.
“With his degree in hand, obviously he’s eligible to play anywhere in the country,” Spurrier said.
Even with that option on the table Garcia’s actions indicate he’s working towards finishing his career in Columbia. Tuesday he worked out with receiver Tori Gurley and in a tweet Gurley praised Garcia’s performance in the workout.
Gurley tweeted: Garcia looked good throwing the route tree to me!!! The workout was a success.
Gurley is preparing for next week’s NFL draft, but Garcia is also working out with current players. Even though he remains suspended he is still being permitted to participate in the voluntary workouts this month.
This is another sign Garcia is not only planning on being back next season, but that the players and coaches expect him back too. Spurrier dropped a less than subtle hint today that backs up this point.
“Hopefully it’ll work out that he’ll get back with us with a lot better attitude than he’s ever had,” Spurrier said. He also reiterated that Eric Hyman and USC president Harris Pastides will also have a say in the reinstatement which probably wouldn’t happen until later this summer. Best guess would be sometime before the June voluntary offseason conditioning begins.
So, barring any other setbacks, it is a pretty safe bet to expect Garcia to return from his fifth suspension and be given the opportunity to finish his career at USC.
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