Notebook: Spurrier lashes out, Garcia done

South Carolina coach Steve Spurrier lashed out at a member of the media Tuesday afternoon, refusing to speak until he was gone. Quarterback Stephen Garcia was also dismissed from the team, Connor Shaw is now the man, a report on multiple injuries, and one player is moving from the defense to the offense.

In a day where the biggest news should have been the dismissal of quarterback Stephen Garcia, South Carolina coach Steve Spurrier made the biggest splash, lashing out at a member of the South Carolina media.

"This has been weighing on my chest and I'm getting it off my chest right now," Spurrier said. "As all of you know, we have a negative guy over here that tries to hurt our football program. He has a right to do that – the criticism he shows me is fine. I just don't like stories that aren't true."

The problem revolves around an article that was written during the spring about Carolina redshirt freshman Bruce Ellington, who is also a member of the Gamecock basketball program. The article stated that Spurrier went out and recruited Ellington from the basketball program, something Spurrier says didn't happen. It's an issue that had already been discussed once at the annual preseason media day, but one Spurrier thought should be brought up again on Tuesday.

"Last spring he wrote a story about me recruiting Bruce Ellington and luring him away from the basketball program," Spurrier said. "It's a completely fabricated story and I took exception to that. That's the only thing I've ever taken exception to with sports writers is when they write stuff that isn't true. I didn't talk to Bruce Ellington until after he had met with Coach Horn and came over here."

Spurrier refused to speak as he normally does, instead opting to take the news media into another room to do an interview and then bring in the rest of the print media for an interview.

"In 26 years as a head coach I've had two guys that didn't speak the truth and I had to disassociate with. He's one of them," Spurrier said. "I've learned with him sitting in these meetings that I'm helping him contribute to writing negative stuff about our football program. Simple as that, so I'm not going to talk when he's in here. That's my right as the head coach. I don't have to talk to him and I don't have to talk when he's in here."

Garcia dismissed from team

Fifth-year quarterback Stephen Garcia's career has appeared to come to a screeching halt Tuesday as the school released a statement from Athletic Director Eric Hyman and Spurrier that Garcia has been dismissed from the football team:

University of South Carolina senior quarterback Stephen Garcia has been dismissed from the football team, it was announced today.

"Being a student-athlete at the University of South Carolina is a privilege, not a right," said Athletics Director Eric Hyman, "and we remind all of our student-athletes that there are consequences for their actions. For Stephen to return to and remain with the football squad this fall, we agreed on several established guidelines. Unfortunately, he has not been able to abide by those guidelines and has therefore forfeited his position on the roster. We wish him the best of luck as he moves forward in life."

"We are all saddened that this has occurred," said head coach Steve Spurrier. "We all feel like we've given Stephen numerous opportunities to be a student-athlete here at South Carolina. Obviously, he has chosen not to follow the guidelines of his reinstatement contract. We wish him the best."

To say that Garcia's career has been a bumpy one is an understatement, but he will still go down as one the greatest quarterbacks in school history, finishing his career with 7,597 passing yards, completing 589-of-1021 passes (57.7 percent), with 47 touchdowns and 41 interceptions.

It's an unfortunate ending to what had been an optimistic season for Garcia and all Gamecock fans can do now is wish him well in whatever he chooses to do in the future.

Connor Shaw is now the man

If his performance Saturday wasn't enough to convince some that Shaw will be the full-time quarterback going forward, the news of Garcia's fate Tuesday made it official; Shaw is the man.

Getting his first true start of his career, Shaw just had your average 311 yard, four touchdown performance. Though it was against a bad Kentucky team, it was against a Wildcat secondary that was ranked in the top 15 in the nation in pass defense and had yet to give up a 300-yard game all season. Central Michigan's Ryan Radcliff threw for 295 yards earlier this year, but was also picked twice. Shaw did not turn the ball over at all Saturday.

It's a complete 180 from the first five games of the season, and a complete turnaround in preparation from the starting quarterback.

"He's a smart young man," Spurrier said. "His dad is a high school coach. His brother is a quarterback at Georgia Southern. He's all football and school. He's got about a 3.0 business major. He's a good student. You're not going to hear about him downtown in the bars, I don't think."

Though Shaw had an impressive outing, he did find himself on the ground quite a bit at the end of the game before being pulled after a rib injury late in the fourth quarter.

"He got the wind knocked out of him a little bit," Spurrier said. "Yeah, we sort of had to look at that protection. It's just sort of a five-man protection and they just rushed a linebacker late twice. And our linemen kind of split and it was our fault for not keeping a back in. We'll probably keep a back in more in protection."

Spurrier says it wasn't a serious injury and Shaw was back out at practice Monday night, glove and all.

"Connor was fine last night," Spurrier said. "You all noticed he was wearing the glove out there didn't you? Guarantee I wish I had one when I was playing. One day I was out there messing around and you can grip that ball. A little sticky on it. Makes sense. Every now and then he doesn't wear it all the time. I told him I'd wear it if I was you. So, he wore it."

Injury report

- Spurrier said that Kyle Nunn (back) has missed the last two games and will be held out this week. Spurrier does say that it is getting better, so he should be back at some point this season. Fans can only cross their fingers and hope he's back after the bye week.

- Dalton Wilson has a sprained foot, but Spurrier says he should be okay by Saturday.

-Rokevious Watkins suffered a concussion in Saturday's game and will not practice Tuesday, but should be okay for Saturday.

- Marty Markett was injured on special teams last week and "sort of got whiplashed" according to Spurrier. He didn't say if Markett is being held out or will be back Saturday.

Other notes

-Due to Nunn's injury and lack of playing time on the defensive line, defensive tackle Byron Jerideau will be moved to the offensive side of the ball. Jerideau will play guard, with A.J. Cann moving over to tackle.

"Yeah, he's going to stay there a while," Spurrier said. "He only played about 10 plays on defense. He's too good an athlete, he's too good an athlete. Probably should've had him over there all year, to tell you the truth. We've got a bunch of freshman trying to block these big defensive guys. Not getting as much movement as we need."

- Spurrier will be going for his 50th win at South Carolina Saturday.

- The team understands how important each game is going forward with their schedule and Georgia's schedule.

"We know where we are. We wish we had one more victory, but we don't. We know Georgia is a good team that's playing well. We know what their schedule is. They know what ours is. So, we just need to go play."


Gamecock Anthem Top Stories