Spurrier weighs in on Garcia on radio

South Carolina head football coach Steve Spurrier has said very little about quarterback Stephen Garcia since the fifth-year senior was indefinitely suspended following an incident at an SEC-mandated life skills meeting.

Tuesday Spurrier did offer some of his thoughts on Garcia on a couple of radio shows during his annual golf tour for the Chick-fil-A Bowl Challenge and the NCR Pro-Am at the Regions Tradition charity golf tournaments.

"Stephen could still be back," Spurrier said on Mayhem in the AM on Atlanta's 790 The Zone. "He's got maybe some things to do -- or [to] check his attitude out -- and we'll make a statement on him in a month or so."

Spurrier called Garcia's actions "immature" on both shows noting that Garcia hadn't been arrested lately.

"Stephen has had just several little just minor immature behavior issues -- that's about all it is," he said on the popular Paul Finebaum show in Birmingham, Ala. that Spurrier is frequently on. "And we wish he could act a little more like a first-class student-athlete. But we'll see what happens here in the next month or so. He's just suspended from the team until the university -- which is the athletic director, the president, maybe myself -- we'll decide how he's coming along and go from there."

Spurrier, long known for switching out his quarterbacks as often as anybody in college football, noted that he's been as patient with Garcia has he's been with any other quarterback in his coaching career.

"I've learned not to get too mad at him, as you've probably noticed in the last year or so," Spurrier said. "I don't throw any temper tantrums on the sideline -- try not to."

Asked if he would have handled playing time at quarterback differently last season had there been an experienced back-up to Garcia, Spurrier indicated that was probably true.

"Well if I had another just about as good [or] similar, the other guy would be in -- he'd probably be in and out like so many of my quarterbacks," Spurrier said. "But we just felt like he was our best player last year, so we lived with whatever mistakes he had.

"But he had a lot of good games also, so he played well most of the time."

If Garcia isn't allowed to return, the Gamecocks likely starter would be true sophomore Connor Shaw. While multiple rumors have spread about former N.C. State quarterback Russell Wilson being interested in transferring to USC, there's no indication of that being a possibility on the USC end.

"Connor Shaw, our back-up quarterback last year, I think he's a very capable young man that can play very well, so he's ready to go also," Spurrier added.

While no decision has been made yet, multiple sources tell Gamecock Anthem they "expect" Garcia to be back for his final season at USC. It's not public knowledge what the conditions set for Garcia's return are, but Spurrier has made it clear on multiple occasions that he wants for Garcia to graduate.

Garcia was on schedule to graduate this weekend if he made good grades in his current classes, according to Spurrier, and sources indicate the Garcia family plans to be in town for that purpose this weekend.

If Garcia is allowed to return he could break most of the passing records at South Carolina. He's currently third all-time at South Carolina in passing yards (6,753), completions (528), attempts (903), and passing touchdowns (43) and is just the third quarterback in Gamecock history with 6,000 career passing yards.

"Well he has not been arrested lately and he hasn't done anything too stupidly, he just has really some immature acts that causes some problems around the school," Spurrier said. "But we're not giving up on him. We don't want to jsut cast him aside, so we'll see if he makes some attitude adjustments to get back."


- Spurrier and Sterling Sharpe tied for third at 7-under with Mississippi's Houston Nutt and Wesley Walls and Virginia Tech's Frank Beamer and Dell Curry at the Chick-Fil-A Bowl Challenge. Spurrier finished a shot ahead of Clemson's Dabo Swinney and Steve Fuller.

- Spurrier offered a small update on the qualifying status of the nation's No. 1 prospect and South Carolina signee Jadeveon Clowney.

"He just hasn't quite qualified yet. I think he's got to get his test score up or get his GPA up, something like that. But hopefully -- we feel confident he's got a good chance to make it."

Gamecock Anthem Top Stories