The end of an era is finally here.
It's only fitting that his career finished the same way in started at South Carolina.
Gamecocks quarterback Stephen Garcia has been dismissed from the football team for a violation of the agreement he had in place with the university. Garcia reportedly failed a substance test and, according to his father, he was dismissed for "a few beers."
Garcia had been suspended five times during his tenure at South Carolina and his play on the field was just as up-and-down as his personal life off of it. Garcia, with all his troubles, still finds himself among the top quarterbacks in South Carolina history. He was inching his way up the record books in passing yards, touchdowns, wins, completions, and attempts.
South Carolina made the switch to Connor Shaw this past weekend after the Gamecocks picked up their first loss against the Auburn Tigers on October 1st. Garcia's poor play led to the offense's downfall against Auburn and a change was needed. Shaw proceeded to throw for 311 yards with four touchdowns, and more importantly, zero turnovers. For his efforts he was named SEC Offensive Player of the Week.
Both Eric Hyman and Steve Spurrier released statements today alluded to how disappointed they were for Garcia's failed attempt to remain a part of this team but also mentioned how he's had plenty of chances and couldn't quite live up to the expectations of being a student-athlete at the University of South Carolina.
Connor Shaw looked the part for South Carolina against Kentucky but with Garcia on the sidelines there was still a chance the fifth-year senior could find his way back on the field.
Shaw will be given the keys to this offense for the rest of the season and the Gamecocks hope he can continue to give this offense opportunities it didn't have with Garcia under center. The backup quarterback position is a bit shaky with young players like Dylan Thompson and Andrew Clifford. It's an unproven position for Steve Spurrier but they have faith in Connor Shaw. He was expected to be the Gamecocks starting quarterback in 2012. Now, he's expected to be the guy to save South Carolina's dream season.
It's been a wild ride Stephen Garcia. Thanks for the memories.