I'm not sure what makes Stephen Garcia, a relatively meh recruit who's never taken a college snap, so interesting. Maybe it's the flowing locks on glorious display in his angelic mug shot, or the ambiguous sincerity of the absurd Web site devoted to him. If nothing else, the kid is poised to enthusiastically revive the Taneyhill tradition of excessively-coiffed rapscallionism befitting the leader of any team named for an illegal, back alley blood sport, the kind of endearing ne'er-do-wellism in which Blake Mitchell merely dabbled, and such potential draws from a large well of patience where SMQ is concerned.
It's not easy, being Steve.
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Garcia, offensive lineman Heath Batchelor and walk-on quarterback Zac Brindise were cited for underage drinking by police responding to students' complaints of loud noise in the courtyard between the East and South Quad dormitories, according to USC spokesman Russ McKinney.
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As my mom says, though: it's too easy to nickel and dime yourself to death. These things add up. You know, get caught drunk in public or keying a car, anything that leads to a headline that says "South Carolina football player" and "arrested," or even "cited," and pretty soon the newspaper's putting up polls about your future. And you probably won't like the results very much:
I dwell on this as a writer who desperately wants Garcia around for three more years as a character, but mainly out of a measure of sympathy for Steve Spurrier, who doesn't want to boot a kid for such a "boys will be boys" sort of infraction (beer and fire extinguishers? When the Ball Coach was 20, his dorm ran moonshine and hosted weekly freshman-on-gator fights in the lobby) but is also faced with a glut of said infractions - seven since New Year's Eve. These things add up. It's not a decision I'd want to make about the fate of a kid I knew personally, either. He's just one man:
Asked to clarify, Spurrier said: "They've got a president. They've got an athletic director. They've got a dean. They've got a whole bunch of people over there. So if they say he's here, he'll be here, OK? His fate is out of my hands. Let's put it that way."
Spurrier said he would accept the university's decision on Garcia, who was not at practice Monday.
"He's had a lot of chances here," Spurrier said. "We'll see what happens."
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