DESTIN, Fla. | Steve Spurrier believes his senior quarterback is a changed man, again.
Stephen Garcia “has made a life change commitment,” Spurrier said. “If he stays on that commitment, it would definitely be worth it that we gave him another opportunity.”
The Gamecocks have given Garcia five opportunities so far to come back from suspension, the most recent being this week when he was allowed back on a probationary basis from an indefinite suspension. Garcia has been cleared to participate in summer workouts, but a decision on his full reinstatement won’t come until fall practice begins.
“From what I understand, he is doing all the things the president and athletic director and I have asked him to do,” Spurrier said. “We’ll see. He’s got two months before he’ll be hopefully reinstated. He’s there working out with the team.”
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Garcia will be “finished” if he has one more transgression, Spurrier said.
“He’s got some guidelines he has to follow or he knows he’s finished,” Spurrier said. “Hopefully, he can do that. He has changed a lot about his life.”
Spurrier did not respond Wednesday when asked if he was acting as an enabler by allowing Garcia to return so many times. He could not think of a player to whom he’s given more chances, he said.
“He’s a little different type individual, and he has made some lifestyle changes,” Spurrier said. “We’ll see if he can continue.”
Most of Garcia’s teammates wanted him to return to the team, Spurrier said, and he did not hear from any players who wanted Garcia dismissed.
“Most of them wanted him back and hoped he could learn how to act a little better,” Spurrier said.
Spurrier’s wife Jerri also has been a supporter of the quarterback, Steve Spurrier said. When Garcia was forced to serve community service as a freshman, Jerri Spurrier drove him to “75 of his 100” hours of service, Spurrier said.
“She’s been his babysitter,” Spurrier said.
If Garcia is fully re-instated, he will compete with sophomore Connor Shaw for the starting job, Spurrier said.
“I believe he’s worthy of another chance,” Spurrier said. “Hopefully, he has changed his life around. We’ll find out.”