As if the absence of official word to the contrary didn't give it away, report out of Columbia today has it beginning to look more and more like Captain Brahsome has yet to ride his last ride in the Garnet and Black.
Steve Spurrier says that Stephen Garcia will be able to rejoin the team for the fall season if he follows certain guidelines set by Spurrier, Harris Pastides, and Eric Hyman. Per Chris Low:
Garcia will be required to meet certain guidelines set forth by university president Harris Pastides, athletic director Eric Hyman and Spurrier.
"We’ve all three given him guidelines, and we’ll see how he follows those," said Spurrier, adding that a decision on Garcia probably wouldn’t be made until this summer.
Spurrier said he’s talked with Garcia recently and that Garcia is on track to graduate in May as long as he passes the courses he’s taking this semester.
"With his degree in hand, he’s eligible to play anywhere in the country and he’s got another year remaining," Spurrier said. "Hopefully, it will work out that he’ll be back with us with maybe a lot better attitude than he’s ever had."
The article doesn't specify what these guidelines are, but one can gather from the grapevine that they include staying afloat academically, dealing with any perceived problem with alcohol, and not being a part of any more "incidents." Garcia has to know that he's on thin ice right now, so regardless of what his longterm plans are, I would wager that he'll at the very least clean up his act for the next few months, rejoin the team sometime during the summer, and then make the start against East Carolina. That is, unless Connor Shaw or Dylan Thompson morphs into a great quarterback over the summer and steals the starting spot, which seems unlikely at this point, although I'm holding out hope for Shaw.
Frankly, I'm somewhat ambivalent about this decision. As I've expressed in the past, I can see the argument for dismissing Garcia from the team. That said, I can also see the argument against harshly punishing someone for a minor incident, regardless of how many times that person has screwed up in the past, and I also feel that if part of Garcia's problem is alcohol and he's shown interest in taking active steps to get his drinking habits under control, he should be given a chance to do that without any further consequences. Garcia is a screw-up and a head case, but it's not like he's an unrepentant criminal or someone who isn't redeemable, and perhaps we should take that into consideration.
He's also not a bad quarterback, needless to say, and he'll probably be our best option for getting back to Atlanta. I would hate to know that Hyman and Spurrier let things slide with Garcia because they feel Garcia is a key component to the football team, but if they really feel that Garcia is going to get his act together, then I can't say I'm not not happy that we're still going to have him for what he brings on the field.