South Carolina's Gar-CIA Investigation: Where the Gamecock's Starting QB Stands
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So, here's what we know: Stephen Garcia knows how to party.
The 23 year old quarterback started his college career off with a couple of underage drinking incidents, which is not uncommon for a kid just experiencing the freedoms and excitement of college life; he then graduated to throwing a hotel party during December's bowl trip that allegedly included naked women and loads of alcohol.
Garcia obviously enjoys a good time and has been taking advantage of his status.
I, myself, won't judge him for acting like a rockstar. Despite his inability to step up in bowl games, he had his best season to date in 2010 and often played with everything he had.
I refuse to fault someone for their lifestyle as long as it doesn't affect their ability to perform.
The issue that Gamecock fans are very aware of is that, injuries aside, Garcia is our biggest liability—that is why there was so much ridicule when his most current suspension surfaced.
Most didn't initially care about details and weren't surprised. It was more of an "I knew it!" situation where everyone knew he would slip up again; it was only just a matter of time, but Garcia is also one of us.
And as more information came to light, many of us found ourselves defending one of our own; the same one that we were ready to cut ties with all together.
Now, here's what most of us don't know: What exactly happened to provoke this indefinite suspension.
He was supposedly called out during a seminar by a speaker that didn't approve of his lifestyle. Garcia let his hothead get the best of him during a back-and-forth with this speaker. He was then booted from the event, which led to his suspension.
Stephen is a competitor. Competitors tend to be hardheaded and refuse to be told that others are better—with this often comes a temper. And sure, alcohol has been known to escalate tempers.
I know that he admitted to having a few drinks at a teammate's birthday party prior to the event; however, it was mentioned that the alcohol was not the blaming factor. It was merely an incident with his attitude that broke no laws or NCAA rules.
The main reason that he was punished so harshly is because he was walking a tightrope from his previous incidents and there was zero tolerance for error.
I fully expect that, barring no further errors, Garcia will be back to lead the Gamecocks in the fall. Will this event make him stronger or will he crumble under the scrutiny? This has yet to be determined.
As poorly as it's been portrayed in the media, it may all be for the best. Stephen obviously had no intentions of stopping the party as long as he had his job on the field.
Now, he may have no choice but to cut it out and focus on the game. This will hopefully allow him to reach the level needed to dominate in his final year and the Gamecocks best shot at a championship, perhaps ever.
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