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UPDATED: Garcia, two other players charged with underage drinking

By Joseph Person

The State

Published: March 24, 2008

(Updated: 3:45 p.m.)

South Carolina freshman quarterback Stephen Garcia is in trouble again.

Garcia, 20, was one of three players cited and charged with underage drinking after police found them with coolers of beer outside East Quad dormitory at 6:30 p.m. Saturday, the first of two incidents involving Garcia at the dorm in a five-hour span that night.

Garcia, offensive lineman Heath Batchelor and walk-on quarterback Zac Brindise were cited for underage drinking by police responding to students complaints of loud noise in the courtyard between the East and South Quad dormitories, according to USC spokesman Russ McKinney.

Gary Garcia, 25, the quarterback s older brother, is charged with transferring beer to a minor, according to the tickets issued by campus police.

Stephen Garcia paid a fine of $257.50 in Columbia magistrate s court today on the underage drinking charge, according to his attorney, Neal Lourie. Garcia s license will be suspended for four months, but he will be able to drive his moped, Lourie said.

He did not want to request a jury trial. He did not want to put the university, his teammates, the fans through an unnecessary, long, drawn-out process, Lourie said. He just wanted to get it over with (and) take responsibility.

Batchelor, 20, and Brindise, 19, are scheduled to appear in court next month.

McKinney said all three players would go through the university s student disciplinary system.

Less than five hours later after the underage citation, officers interviewed Garcia again after police and the Columbia fire department responded to a fire alarm at the dorm at 11 p.m. Authorities discovered an extinguisher had been discharged on the third floor of the dorm.

Garcia told police he discharged the extinguisher after noticing sparks coming from his dorm, according to the incident report. Garcia is listed as a suspect on the report, but has not been charged. McKinney said the incident remains under investigation.

Garcia, a highly touted righthander from Lutz, Fla., was suspended for spring practice last year after being arrested twice in two weeks shortly after arriving on campus. He completed the state s pretrial intervention program to have two of the charges expunged from his record. A third charge was dropped.

Under USC athletic department policy, athletes who are arrested face automatic suspensions. It is unclear whether the same discipline applies to athletes issued citations by police.

USC media relations director Steve Fink said Garcia is scheduled to sit out tonight s spring practice for missing classes this semester.

Gamecocks coach Steve Spurrier attended a former teammate s funeral in Florida today, but is expected to be at this evening s practice.

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g6773a (3/24/2008)
Geez, Garcia is getting more chances than Steve Howe!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

don't worry about garcia, spurrier won't do jack to him.. spurrier just reinstated WR, Dion Lecorn, who admitted to smoking pot and having it in his possession. He admitted to it and he is reinstated. Spurrier is one of the biggest jokes when it comes to discipline.

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SacFalcFan (3/24/2008)
g6773a (3/24/2008)
Geez, Garcia is getting more chances than Steve Howe!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

don't worry about garcia, spurrier won't do jack to him.. spurrier just reinstated WR, Dion Lecorn, who admitted to smoking pot and having it in his possession. He admitted to it and he is reinstated. Spurrier is one of the biggest jokes when it comes to discipline.

They said Dion didnt test positive for it, but I dont know how true that may be.

Somethings gotta give with Garcia though. He needs to straighten his act up if he wants to be a leader on this team.

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The Fifth Element

By Joseph Person

The State

Published: March 15, 2008

Spring might be the season of rebirth, renewal and all that Hallmark-card sap, but Stephen Garcia just wants to play football.

During a recent interview at a charity bowling event, the South Carolina freshman said he was looking forward to a lot:

Spring practice, the new running plays installed for Gamecocks quarterbacks, spending time with his infant son anything to move past the events of last spring.

Six times in a span of six minutes, Garcia said he was looking forward to something.

It s hard to blame him for not wanting to look back.

Garcia arrived from Tampa last January with a big pickup truck, a ponytail and the tag as the strong-armed quarterback hand-picked by Steve Spurrier to take the Gamecocks to an SEC championship.

Garcia graduated high school a semester early, trading his senior prom to get a head start learning Spurrier s offense and participate in spring practice.

That was the plan, anyway, before Garcia was suspended for the spring following two arrests in a two-week stretch.

A year later, Garcia remains the most-talked-about player on the USC roster. But this spring the focus is on Garcia s place in a three-man competition to succeed Blake Mitchell as Spurrier s starter.

It s definitely a chance. Hopefully, it s my big chance, Garcia said before the bowling outing last month with pediatric cancer patients. I m just very thankful he s giving me the opportunity to still be here after all the stuff that happened last year. I m glad that s all behind me. I m just looking forward to it.

Though he does not regret his decision, Garcia admits he was not prepared for the responsibilities of college life when he enrolled at USC last winter. Garcia could relate when quarterback Reid McCollum, another early enrollee, returned home in January after two weeks on campus.

He just said he wasn t ready for it. Same thing for me. I wasn t ready for it, Garcia said. Lucky enough for him, he didn t get into any trouble. He did the smart thing.

Looking back on it, I still feel like it was a good decision for me to come. But those two setbacks just really hurt a lot of things.

Garcia was arrested last February for drunkenness and failure to stop on a police command outside the Knock Knock Club in Five Points. Less than two weeks later, Garcia was charged with malicious injury to personal property for keying the car of a visiting professor following a dispute over a parking space at the USC library.

Police dropped the failure to stop charge, and Garcia completed his pretrial intervention requirements, which included community service, to have the other charges expunged from his record.

The 20-year-old Garcia said the experience forced him to grow up very quickly.

Garcia s maturation process was also hastened by the birth of his son, Memphys Glenn, in October. He said he was overcome with emotion the first time he held Memphys, named after a character from the animated penguin movie, Happy Feet.

It was breathtaking. I broke down, Garcia said. It was pretty intense. It was beautiful.

Garcia tries to get home every month to visit Memphys and the child s mother, Garcia s high school sweetheart who is attending a two-year school in the Tampa area. Garcia s parents have been supportive and assist with the childcare duties.

It s a whole new level of responsibility, Garcia said. Being a parent is a beautiful thing. I m looking forward to the opportunity to be there with him and his mother. It s a very exciting experience for me thus far.

Garcia also is excited about his chance to run the first-team offense this spring, although he might have to wait a few days for that opportunity. Spurrier said recently that Garcia could miss a couple of practices because of classroom absences.

If Stephen missed class and that s the policy, then he ought to be suspended, said Gary Garcia, Stephen s father. My kid is responsible for his own actions. He takes responsibility.

The missed classes aside, USC assistant quarterbacks coach David Reaves said Garcia has had no problems since his rocky start.

If you go back with Stephen Garcia, everything that happened to him was the first two weeks of when he got here, Reaves said. Ever since then he s been a model student, model athlete, and he s done a good job for us.

What remains to be determined is what type of job Garcia can do directing Spurrier s ##### n Fire offense, which is expected to include a few wrinkles to take advantage of Garcia s running ability.

Rivals.com ranked Garcia the nation s No. 4 dual-threat quarterback after the 6-foot-2, 212-pounder compiled more than 8,000 passing yards and 1,300 rushing yards at Jefferson High in Tampa.

After getting limited reps in the preseason, Garcia bided his time as the scout-team quarterback last year while waiting for his shot at the starting job.

That moment is now.

Garcia believes running the scout team was beneficial.

I played against our first-team defense. I think that really helped me out a lot, preparing for what the speed and the size is going to be like, Garcia said. I m definitely looking forward to the year.

There s that expression again.

What a load of horse sh*t this idiot kid has turned out to be. He's too stupid to be anywhere on a college campus. Wonder how much he was thinking about that kid of his while he was doing this?

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gamecocknfire (3/24/2008)
SacFalcFan (3/24/2008)
g6773a (3/24/2008)
Geez, Garcia is getting more chances than Steve Howe!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

don't worry about garcia, spurrier won't do jack to him.. spurrier just reinstated WR, Dion Lecorn, who admitted to smoking pot and having it in his possession. He admitted to it and he is reinstated. Spurrier is one of the biggest jokes when it comes to discipline.

They said Dion didnt test positive for it, but I dont know how true that may be.

Somethings gotta give with Garcia though. He needs to straighten his act up if he wants to be a leader on this team.

Well regardless of what has been rumored regarding Dion the guy admitted to doing it.  Now with garcia he has done nothing to suggest he is capable of straightening himself up.  I hope for his sake he stops doing boneheaded things (i hate when kids make poor choices), but right now until he shows otherwise you can't expect that. 

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gamecocknfire (3/24/2008)
I posted that article a while back Xnex....but I doubt anything will happen since he didnt actually get arrested it was just a citation. University policy just says a player is suspend for arrests.

Yeah I know that you posted that article. I wanted to refrence it in my reply. He's talking about "looking forward", and maturity etc.etc. and then he pulls this. As strange as it sounds I'm not as mad about the beer drinking as I am about him discharging the fire extinguisher. Doing that just shows how much of an idiot he is. It was destruction simply for the sake of destruction. Somehow this kid just doesn't understand; he's already embarrassed himself, his family, and the University last year. He should have figured out how to avoid this crap by now.

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March 24, 2008

The South Carolina Gamecock football team practiced for a little over two hours in cool temperatures Monday night at the Bluff Road "Proving Grounds." It was the third of 15 spring practice sessions for the Gamecocks and the first time they went in full pads.

"It was probably one of the coldest spring practices that I can remember," said head coach Steve Spurrier following the drills. "We had a spirited practice. We did some one-on-one and some full-speed blocking. The offense had some good plays and the defense had a lot of good plays. It was fairly encouraging."

Coach Spurrier was asked about redshirt freshman quarterback Stephen Garcia, who experienced some off-the-field troubles over the weekend. "Stephen Garcia's fate is in the hands of the University of South Carolina. He may be out here (again) or he may not be out here. If they say he's here, he'll be here. It's out of my hands. Chris Smelley and Tommy Beecher had some real good throws here tonight. Those two guys are very capable of leading our team next year. I'll accept whatever they say (about Garcia). He's had a lot of chances here and we'll see what happens. We've got Tommy Beecher and Chris Smelley and we know they're always going to be here. They do everything we ask. They're wonderful kids and they can throw the ball. They can play. We'll worry about Stephen if he comes back out here. If they say he's back, we'll bring him back. If the university wants him to be here, we'll give him another shot."

 

 
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In other news, redshirt freshman Mark Barnes from Columbia's Richland Northeast High School, made the switch from wide receiver to safety, a similar move that Chris Culliver made on Saturday.

The Gamecocks will return to the practice fields Wednesday night at 7 p.m. They are also scheduled to work out on Friday (4:15 p.m.) leading up to their first scrimmage of the spring next Saturday (10 a.m.). All spring practices are open to the public.

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SacFalcFan (3/24/2008)
g6773a (3/24/2008)
Geez, Garcia is getting more chances than Steve Howe!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

don't worry about garcia, spurrier won't do jack to him.. spurrier just reinstated WR, Dion Lecorn, who admitted to smoking pot and having it in his possession. He admitted to it and he is reinstated. Spurrier is one of the biggest jokes when it comes to discipline.

So Spurrier is almost as strict as Fulmer? Is that what you are saying?

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spurrier went a little further:

They ve got a president. They ve got an athletic director. They ve got a dean. They ve got a whole bunch of people over there. So if they say he s here, he ll be here, OK? His fate is out of my hands. Let s put it that way.

sounds like someone has a chip on their shoulder.. how about spurrier you start actually disciplining your kids so they don't think it's okay to continue doing this junk.

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NEWS

Garcia To Finish Semester At USC

Phil Kornblut

Published: Tuesday, March 25, 2008 | Updated: 3:30 pm

The USC administration will not expel Gamecock quarterback Stephen Garcia this semester for his latest legal matter according to sources. With the semester nearing an end, and with Garcia doing well in the classroom, he will be allowed to finish the semester. However, his return to USC is not a guarantee because Garcia will have to meet certain criteria set down by the university. Garcia was cited Saturday for underage drinking after being nabbed with beer at his dorm. He paid a fine in magistrate's court on Monday. The sources said Garcia is being treated like any other USC student with his case being handled by the Student Judiciary Committee. One source said officials are as concerned about Garcia discharging a fire extinguisher in his dorm Saturday night as they are the presence of beer. USC football coach Steve Spurrier said after practice Monday night that Garcia's future at the school was being handled by others. Garcia is not expected to continue with spring football practice. USC athletic director Eric Hyman is expected to release a statement on the matter Tuesday afternoon.

 

Well anyone who thought it was a forgone conclusion that Garcia was going to win the job next year better rethink things. #####, #####, #####!

The words that got censored were Mo ron Mo ron Mo ron

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Spurrier is a weak ##### like Fulmer. This is the 4th arrest for this loser. One was totally dropped in 07. Spurrier was releasing thugs on the first arrest when he first got there and now this guy going 4 deep in arrests and still on the team. I love it.

One more and he can start for the Gators without sitting out a year.

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UPDATED: Garcia suspended through mid-August

By Joseph Person

The State

Published: March 25, 2008

(Updated: 5 p.m.)

Sources told The State today that USC quarterback Stephen Garcia has been suspended from the football team through mid-August, putting Garcia s future with the Gamecocks in doubt.

Garcia will not be allowed to participate in any football-related activities for the rest of the spring practice and through most of the summer, the sources said. An official announcement is expected soon.

In addition, university officials have suspended Garcia from summer school and will require him to participate in an in-depth alcohol counseling program and submit to drug and alcohol tests if he wishes to return to school in mid-August, when summer school ends. Garcia would have to be readmitted to USC, according to a source.

Garcia will be allowed to finish this semester at USC, but must move out of campus housing next week.

The disciplinary moves come three days after Garcia s latest run-in with the law.

Garcia, 20, was one of three players cited and charged Saturday evening for underage drinking after campus police found them with coolers of beer in the courtyard between the South and East Quad dormitories. Gary Garcia, 25, the quarterback s brother, was charged with transferring beer to a minor.

Stephen Garcia, a native of Tampa, Fla., has faced criminal charges three times since arriving on campus 15 months ago.

Gamecocks coach Steve Spurrier said Monday night that Garcia s fate is in the hands of the University of South Carolina, adding he would keep Garcia on the team if the university allowed him to remain in school.

If the university allows him to be here, we ll give him another shot, Spurrier said.

Less than five hours after Garcia was ticketed for underage drinking, he told police and firefighters responding to a fire alarm at the dorm that he discharged an extinguisher after noticing sparks coming from his stove.

He was not charged in the incident, but was referred to the student disciplinary system.

Garcia, who graduated from high school early and enrolled at USC last January, was suspended for spring practice last year after two arrests in a two-week span.

The right-hander has yet to take a snap in a game, but had been competing with Tommy Beecher and Chris Smelley for the starting job.

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xnex (3/25/2008)

NEWS

Garcia To Finish Semester At USC

Phil Kornblut

Published: Tuesday, March 25, 2008 | Updated: 3:30 pm

The USC administration will not expel Gamecock quarterback Stephen Garcia this semester for his latest legal matter according to sources. With the semester nearing an end, and with Garcia doing well in the classroom, he will be allowed to finish the semester. However, his return to USC is not a guarantee because Garcia will have to meet certain criteria set down by the university. Garcia was cited Saturday for underage drinking after being nabbed with beer at his dorm. He paid a fine in magistrate's court on Monday. The sources said Garcia is being treated like any other USC student with his case being handled by the Student Judiciary Committee. One source said officials are as concerned about Garcia discharging a fire extinguisher in his dorm Saturday night as they are the presence of beer. USC football coach Steve Spurrier said after practice Monday night that Garcia's future at the school was being handled by others. Garcia is not expected to continue with spring football practice. USC athletic director Eric Hyman is expected to release a statement on the matter Tuesday afternoon.

 

Well anyone who thought it was a forgone conclusion that Garcia was going to win the job next year better rethink things. #####, #####, #####!

The words that got censored were Mo ron Mo ron Mo ron

right now gamecock boards are going bazerk.  they are blaming the administration and garcia isn't at fault and the drinking age should be lower and everyone is wrong, but poor garcia.. it's pretty bad man.. they felt he was the saviour of your team this year and it doesn't look that way.. 

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SacFalcFan (3/25/2008)
xnex (3/25/2008)

NEWS

Garcia To Finish Semester At USC

Phil Kornblut

Published: Tuesday, March 25, 2008 | Updated: 3:30 pm

The USC administration will not expel Gamecock quarterback Stephen Garcia this semester for his latest legal matter according to sources. With the semester nearing an end, and with Garcia doing well in the classroom, he will be allowed to finish the semester. However, his return to USC is not a guarantee because Garcia will have to meet certain criteria set down by the university. Garcia was cited Saturday for underage drinking after being nabbed with beer at his dorm. He paid a fine in magistrate's court on Monday. The sources said Garcia is being treated like any other USC student with his case being handled by the Student Judiciary Committee. One source said officials are as concerned about Garcia discharging a fire extinguisher in his dorm Saturday night as they are the presence of beer. USC football coach Steve Spurrier said after practice Monday night that Garcia's future at the school was being handled by others. Garcia is not expected to continue with spring football practice. USC athletic director Eric Hyman is expected to release a statement on the matter Tuesday afternoon.

Well anyone who thought it was a forgone conclusion that Garcia was going to win the job next year better rethink things. #####, #####, #####!

The words that got censored were Mo ron Mo ron Mo ron

right now gamecock boards are going bazerk. they are blaming the administration and garcia isn't at fault and the drinking age should be lower and everyone is wrong, but poor garcia.. it's pretty bad man.. they felt he was the saviour of your team this year and it doesn't look that way..

If they thought he was our saviour they are ignorant. He hasnt played a single down in the SEC yet, and has only went through one season of practice. Yeah he does have all the talent in the world and could make a great impact, but he makes stupid decisions. Its no ones fault but his own. Smelley and Beecher will just battle it out.

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