Since being suspended earlier this year for at least the fifth time during his time at South Carolina, Stephen Garcia spoke to the media for the first time Sunday.
As expected, Garcia was asked the tough questions by the Gamecocks beat writers. Just as expected, the bro-scious quarterback added a layer or two of intrigue to the entire situation.
Garcia, fully reinstated to the program at the beginning of this past week, was suspended following what was reportedly an alcohol-fueled incident at, oddly enough, a school-sponsored life skills seminar in late March. It was subsequently reported that, as one of the conditions of a reinstatement, he would be required to complete an outpatient alcohol treatment program.
Of course, the alcohol issue was broached by the media today. For his part, Garcia denied there was an issue with alcohol. And seemingly denied there was some type of treatment program involved as well.
“Negative, no,” Garcia said when asked if there were any issues with alcohol on his part. GamecockCentral.com went on to write that “Garcia said he didn’t go through counseling, but spoke with the team doctor ‘every now and then.'” Per reports, team doctors would be needed to sign off on Garcia’s successful completion of an alcohol program in order to return to the program.
The disparity between the reports from highly-respected writers and the QB’s account of how the events that led to his reinstatement transpired notwithstanding, Garcia also acknowledged that he considered putting the South Carolina football program in his rear-view and moving on. The support of his teammates, however, prompted the senior to back off any plans to transfer. Specifically, their Twitter/Facebook offensive in the wake of his issues made him realize that he had business he needed to finish in Columbia.
And that his teammates totally and completely had and will have his back.
“That really put it all in perspective and I said I can’t leave these guys,” Garcia said of the social media support from his teammates. “That’s what it came down to, really. …
“I had a rough spring. Thankfully, I had Marcus (Lattimore) and Alshon (Jeffery) and the rest of the players on the team that took to their Twitter accounts and Facebook. It really put in my head how much I love these guys. I’m very thankful to still be here. That made the difference with the players having my back. It meant a lot to me.”
The following needs to be said when it comes to Stephen Garcia: not a single one of his suspensions resulted from him physically hurting someone else in any way, shape or form. It should also be said that, if Garcia could put himself in a time machine and send himself back about fifty or so years, he’d be fighting Joe Namath for a scholarship at Alabama.
He’s an old football soul. Pardon him if he missteps in this brave new world, where Every… Single… Thing… is reported?
Pardon him, yes. Don’t excuse him, though.