Following his dismissal from the South Carolina football team, Stephen Garcia texted an AP reporter to say that he was “shocked and completely flabbergasted to be honest” by his ouster.
The oft-troubled quarterback reportedly failed a random substance test on October 4th — just one day after Steve Spurrier gave the starting nod to backup quarterback Connor Shaw — and that led to his final dismissal yesterday.
While the rest of the sporting world shrugged its shoulders, not surprised that the five-times-suspended Garcia had somehow stumbled again, the player’s father — Gary Garcia — gave a more complete picture of what’s been going on with his son to Josh Kendall of The State:
“He kind of made his own bed, and this is the culmination of some of those earlier mistakes. He’s upset that he’s not finishing what he came here to do and that’s win an SEC championship, but he also is maybe kind of relieved to get a little bit of fresh air…
This has got to be the worst two weeks of his life, but it’s not going to be the worst two weeks in his life going forward, I can tell you that. You deal with trials and tribulations, and you learn from it. Hopefully, he continues to learn and grow. We’ll let the dust settle for a couple of weeks and then look at what his options are.”
In addition to losing his starting job and being kicked off Carolina’s team in the past two weeks, Garcia also had to attend his grandfather’s funeral last week. His father said, “The death of my father along with the Auburn loss and being benched contributed” to his son’s most recent violation. It’s been reported that the test showed alcohol and marijuana in the younger Garcia’s system.
In the end, we’re talking about a 23-year-old college graduate who needs to get his life in order. As his father correctly pointed out, Garcia will face more trials and tribulations in his life moving forward. There are plenty of people twice his age who still rush to a dime-bag of pot or a bottle of liquor when they’re faced with crises. Here’s hoping Garcia won’t be one of them.