Stephen Garcia spoke to a member of South Carolina’s compliance office Friday after his comments about college football players accepting money for autographs set off a social media firestorm, Garcia said during an afternoon interview with 107.5 The Game in Columbia.
“We talked about it and from what I can gather, it sounds like everything is OK, and it shouldn’t be much of an issue,” the former Gamecock quarterback said.
The phone call Garcia received from his alma mater came the day after he told a Charlotte radio station that he saw college players receive money for autographs “all day every day” and that he had seen it “firsthand.”
“When I said that I saw it happen all day every day, I kind of assumed that people would understand that was an obvious exaggeration,” Garcia said Friday on Columbia radio.
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“I never said that it’s the boosters or the alumni that’s giving these guys money,” he said. “It’s the autograph seekers and these guys that come in. I don’t know if that’s how they make their living or whatever, but I don’t know how the NCAA can manage Garcia did not mention any names of players or schools on the radio.
“I am not going to name drop,” he said Friday. “I won’t ever do that.”
Garcia did not respond to a message left Friday by The State. South Carolina sports information director Steve Fink told The State via email the school would have no further comment at this time.
“I think that if you don’t really know that is going on you are kind of putting your head in the sand and not really paying attention,” he told 107.5. “I never specifically said one school or one player. I was just speaking generally, and I think that players should be compensated for their likeness.”
South Carolina’s compliance office could not be reached after Garcia’s late afternoon interview. The quarterback was surprised by the reaction set off by his original interview.
“I knew it was a little bit controversial, but I didn’t think people were going to take what I said that literal,” he said. “It’s kind of shocking. I have not gotten any rest at all today. My phone has been ringing since 8 this morning.”