Beer drinkin’ and hell raisin’ in Columbia

The way they’re starting to talk about the Ole Ball Coach sounds a lot like the way we were talking about Dennis Felton before the SEC tournament:

Welcome to the football program at South Carolina.

That’s the continuing issue at the school. Under Lou Holtz before him and now under Spurrier, the football team has managed to keep itself in the news for all the wrong reasons.

When he walked through the door more than three years ago as the next big-name coach to replace the last big-name coach who couldn’t get the job done, one of Spurrier’s first acts was to show the door to a few players he didn’t want on his team.

Many times since, Spurrier has said it wasn’t that he thought they were bad people, only that their attitudes were unacceptable for his standards. He wanted players who were more committed to being good athletes and good students.

At the time, it reflected poorly on some of the recruiting decisions made by Holtz; but here we are three football seasons and then some later, and Spurrier is dealing with many of the same sort of problems, only with players he recruited.

Of course, Felton actually suspended players from (multiple) games, or kicked them off the team for bad behavior. Garcia gets a few days off from practice.

On a related note, Matt Zemek says Spurrier is doomed at USC until he can find another high character quarterback like Danny:

… It’s high time that Spurrier–who also witnessed less than exemplary behavior from Blake Mitchell, a quarterback who held the program back–start insisting on first-rate behavior (not the mere avoidance of wrongdoing) from his kids. After all, this is the man who–talented as he is as a play-caller–needed the character, courage and poise of Danny Wuerffel, a first-class individual in word and deed, to attain especially lofty heights in the annals of SEC history. Only when Spurrier gets another Wuerffel-like signal caller will he be able to set his sights on another SEC title.

One can sense the note taking on this stuff going on in places like Knoxville. You can never take enough good material with you when you go on the road to recruit.


UPDATE:  Gawd, I love Gamecock fans.  This message board thread is priceless:

We are all being punished because a 20-yr-old drank a beer Reply

Hyman has decided to punish Garcia, the football team and all of the Carolina fans, because Garcia drank a beer. I’m not sure how many games we will win next year, but I do know that the quarterbacks that we do have do not have the physical skills of Mr. Garcia. I’ve read all of the posts from the “holier than thou” crowd on this board that think that SG should be gone for good, but unless the offensive line is a whole lot better than average, we will struggle on offense without a more athletic quarterback. Coach Spurrier knows this and that is why he was tweaking the offense, so that we could take advantage of someone like Garcia’s athletic ability. The punishment should fit the “crime” and in this case, EH has gone way overboard! The kid did the wrong thing and deserves a punishment, but having him suspended for the spring and not allowed to come back during the summer is too harsh. We will not reach the full potential of this team!

It’s tough to watch someone’s preseason MNC dreams (what is that, like the eighth year in a row?) go down the drain.


Filed under Crime and Punishment, Media Punditry/Foibles, The Evil Genius

6 responses to “Beer drinkin’ and hell raisin’ in Columbia

  1. Ally

    Update: I read this morning that Garcia has now been suspended, by the Athletic Director NOT Spurrier, until August 15th. I’m not kidding – no game suspensions, he’s just out for the Spring.

    Straight from SOS’s mouth:
    “I certainly agree with the penalty that our university has handed out to Stephen. We have no arguments from the coaching staff. Right now Stephen has said that he hopes to fulfill all the obligations that have imposed on him,” Spurrier said. “If he can fulfill everything that is required, we’ll take him back on the team in August.

    “So time will tell if he’ll still be with us. But Stephen’s had a lot of chances. The only thing we can hope is that he will learn his lesson some day and maybe from these penalties he’s receiving now that he will learn his lesson.”

    “Everything that happened to him was the first two weeks when he got here,” quarterbacks coach David Reaves said in February. “Ever since then, he’s been a model student, a model athlete, and he’s done a good job for us.”

    That’s right Steve, really stick it to that kid by keeping him away from practices. That’ll teach him. Oh, but maybe not – didn’t work too well with his last arrests.


  2. kckd

    Senator, if you remember, Mac called this one three years ago when Spurrier was hired. He said that while Steve was making like it was disciplinary reasons for kicking those kids off the team, the real reason was that they didn’t fit his offensive and defensive schemes for winning. Now that it’s the kids he thinks he needs to win, the discipline has suddenly ceased.


  3. What a bunch of drama queens. How long before they turn on the Ol’ Ballcoach himself, you wonder?

    And Ally, I wouldn’t worry too much about Garcia only being suspended from practices — with no practice to go to for the next four and a half months, that’ll just give him more time to get in trouble again. And you know it’s going to happen. The sheer inevitability of it is quickly turning Garcia into the Reggie Ball of off-field f&#*ups.


  4. If “Friday Night Lights” is any indication, it may be too late.


  5. Prd UGA Mom

    Spurrier thinks he has another Danny Wuerffel in Garcia. The boy (even tho he’s a father) doesn’t know how to act off the football field, what makes Spurrier or anyone else think he’s capable of being a leader on the field. Guess he’s building a legacy for his child to remember him by. But you have to remeber who the coach is: Spurrier, win any way he can. With the summer off he has a lot of time to get in more trouble, but, I forgot, he’s just a kid, he doesn’t deserve to be really punished. Until someone lets Garcia know he has had his last chance at USC he’s not going to change. Wonder if Spurrier knew what a spoiled brat he was before he signed him. Probably.