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.