Sports

Stephen Garcia Drops Bombshell On SEC, Gamecock Football Program

SOUTH CAROLINA PROGRAM INVESTIGATING FORMER QUARTERBACK’S ALLEGATIONS By FITSNEWS  ||  It’s been more than three years since former University of South Carolina starting quarterback Stephen Garcia last played football for the Gamecocks – but he’s managed to turn a disappointing 2014 season into a full-blown debacle. One with potentially serious…

SOUTH CAROLINA PROGRAM INVESTIGATING FORMER QUARTERBACK’S ALLEGATIONS

By FITSNEWS  ||  It’s been more than three years since former University of South Carolina starting quarterback Stephen Garcia last played football for the Gamecocks – but he’s managed to turn a disappointing 2014 season into a full-blown debacle.

One with potentially serious ramifications for the program he helped build …

Garcia dropped a bombshell this week, alleging that numerous players in the Southeastern Conference – including some of his former teammates – got paid “all day every day” for their autographs.  These payments make the scandal involving Georgia running back (and former Heisman Trophy frontrunner) Todd Gurley seem “insignificant,” Garcia added.

“I am friends with a lot of players around the SEC and some of the stories they tell me, it makes the Todd Gurley thing seem insignificant by a long shot,” Garcia told Charlotte, N.C. radio station WFNZ.  “I saw it all day, every day … I’m just being honest with you. I saw it firsthand with a lot of players and talking with other guys.”

Garcia – now a commentator with Saturday Down South – said one player received $160,000 during a single year for autographs, although he declined to name the player.

The University is investigating Garcia’s allegations – while the quarterback is responding to angry fans.

“Sorry for not lying folks,” Garcia wrote on his Twitter page.

TODD GURLEY
TODD GURLEY

Gurley was suspended indefinitely by Georgia earlier this month after it was alleged he received $400 to sign eighty items of memorabilia.  Since then, Florida State University – home of the defending national champion Seminole football team – has announced it is investigating allegations that 2013 Heisman Trophy winner Jameis Winston also sold his signature.

“I think it is absolutely ridiculous that these kids can’t profit from their name, their likeness, and sign their name on their own jersey,” Garcia said. “I don’t understand that, and I really hope that that rule changes. I absolutely think that these guys deserve to get paid for their own damn autograph.”

We agree … and said as much in this expansive piece urging a complete overhaul of the current higher education-industrial complex.

Garcia added he would have taken money for his autograph, but no one offered because he was viewed as “a rich white kid.”

Garcia was booted from the Gamecock football team in October 2011 – a story that broke exclusively on FITS.

During his Gamecock career, Garcia posted a 20-14 record as a starter – including a 2-0 mark against arch-rival Clemson and a  2-1 mark against Georgia. He threw for 7,597 passing yards – one of only three quarterbacks in school history to reach the 7,500-yard threshold.

Garcia also ranks third on USC’s career list in completions (589) and touchdowns (47).  In addition to his aerial exploits, Garcia rushed for 777 yards and 15 touchdowns during this three-and-a-half seasons in Columbia.

Garcia had a career year in 2010 – completing 64.2 percent of his passes and throwing for 3,059 yards and 20 touchdowns. Along with the emergence of running back Marcus Lattimore, he helped lead the Gamecocks to their first-ever SEC Eastern Division championship.

Garcia’s 2010 season was highlighted by “The Drive” – a 15-play, 82-yard march against top-ranked Alabama that helped put away the defending national champions and give the USC program its biggest win ever.

Garcia’s success was followed by a tumultuous off-season, though – beginning with our explosive report the following March detailing his shenanigans at the Chick-Fil-A bowl in Atlanta in December 2010.  Those exploits earned Garcia a one-week suspension at the beginning of spring practice in 2011 – but the real drama began in early April of that year when USC suspended Garcia indefinitely for his conduct at a “life skills” event organized by the Southeastern Conference.

This website has always liked Garcia.  Clearly he was never the most disciplined player – which is why he’s not playing in the NFL right now – but we’ve always respected his grit and his straightforwardness.

And irrespective of how these less-than-specific allegations pan out, the bottom line is he’s right on this issue … 

Pic: Travis Bell Photography

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36 comments

Smirks October 17, 2014 at 10:39 am

Garcia’s just mad because he had to pay people to take his autograph.

Seriously, though, this has to go on pretty much everywhere.

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Jackie Chiles October 17, 2014 at 10:47 am

It’s also ridiculous that the players can’t make money off their likenesses. There was a good South Park episode where Kartman tried to buy some “slaves, er, student athletes” from a college.

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Limbaughsaphatkhunt October 20, 2014 at 12:52 am

I couldn’t read his autograph…it was a bit squiggly…like he’d been drinking or something.

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The Colonel October 17, 2014 at 11:23 am

And Garcia’s mouth continues to run away with him…

He’s a nice kid, was a pretty good student but the “punk” in him just can’t help but ooze out from time to time.

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Carkai October 17, 2014 at 11:24 am

Nice kid? Tell that to my car…

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The Colonel October 17, 2014 at 11:27 am

That would be the “punk” oozing out.

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Carkai October 17, 2014 at 11:31 am

So, a not so nice kid?

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The Colonel October 17, 2014 at 11:33 am

Some people shouldn’t be allowed to drink regardless of their age…
I had him in a class once, seemed like a nice kid.

Bible Thumper October 17, 2014 at 5:25 pm

I have heard the same thing about Garcia numerous times. Garcia is an EDDIE HASKLE type. Ward and June Cleaver had him pegged as a self-centered jerk, but his politeness fooled many others.

Momna Tried October 17, 2014 at 11:29 am

Tango must be applying at Amazon today. He’s mom needs a new bunion remover for the holiday bingo circuit coming up.

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John October 17, 2014 at 11:38 am

$160,000 for autographs? Marcus would do it. Clowney sure as hell would. He and Garcia were teammates in 2011 season before Garcia got booted.

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The Colonel October 17, 2014 at 11:52 am

Marcus Lattimore would sign anything anyone asked him to for free. I had a chance to observe him a number of times at different events – don’t think you’ll find any dirt on him or Connor Shaw for that matter. Course Connor didn’t understand the need to use birth control when you’re not married but no one’s perfect.

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Jasper Woodcock October 17, 2014 at 12:06 pm

My money is on Clowney.

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The Colonel October 17, 2014 at 12:18 pm

And we have a winner!

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Taters are haters October 19, 2014 at 9:58 am

that’s because you are an idiot. Clowney was a freshman that year, Who gives $160,000 to a freshman? Get your head out of your ass

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John October 17, 2014 at 12:07 pm

Shit, I meant Marcus wouldn’t do it. No doubt about that. Gotta read before hitting “Post”.

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Cherry Garcia October 17, 2014 at 11:46 am

LOL, what’s the bombshell? That someone thought Garcia was a rich kid?

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one_big_dude October 17, 2014 at 11:46 am

Garcia should open a sports bar in Columbia. Heck, I’m an introvert and even I would hate to miss that party

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idcydm October 17, 2014 at 11:51 am

Football, not so much playing by the rules but what you can get away with.

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Jasper Woodcock October 17, 2014 at 11:53 am

These players are getting “paid”, in the way of a free education, free poontang, free bar tabs, free tattoos, and a shot at multi-million dollar contracts. They should attend their rudimentary classes, play football and stfu.

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Jasper Woodcock October 17, 2014 at 12:13 pm

I forgot to mention, free Predator hairdos.

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Limbaughsaphatkhunt October 20, 2014 at 12:52 am

Not every player is a scholarship player. In fact, most aren’t, they are walk ons that have to put in all the time and effort the others do and pay their own way.

Meanwhile the schools and the NCAA are raking in $$$ hand over fist off the backs of these athletes and don’t have to pay them squat.

Is that fair?

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A Buddy Told Me October 17, 2014 at 12:16 pm

Back in the day they used do $10-20 handshakes after big wins.

The football technique is simple:
1) Extend an empty hand like a normal everyday handshake to Alum,
2) Retract hand after said handshake,
3) Be alert for a tickling feeling in your palm
4) Squeeze the tickle spot and magically a $10 or $20 bill appears in your palm.
5) Open hand only after it is in your trousers pocket

My buddy found it interesting that the size of the bill seemed to be directly correlated to how big the performance was.

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Smirks October 17, 2014 at 12:54 pm

3) Be alert for a tickling feeling in your palm
4) Squeeze the tickle spot and magically a $10 or $20 bill appears in your palm.
5) Open hand only after it is in your trousers pocket

Thank goodness #4 was there or I’d be confused as to what kind of instructions these are for.

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Native Ink October 17, 2014 at 12:38 pm

Gurley only got busted because a memorabilia dealer was dead set on ratting him out. Why is anyone’s guess. Some people say it’s because the dealer is a Gators fan. It’s odd that the said dealer faces no repercussions of his own. Apparently it’s completely legal to offer a college athlete money for services that will get the athlete in a lot of trouble. If these infractions are such a big deal, then why aren’t the dealers penalized as well?

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Bible Thumper October 17, 2014 at 5:18 pm

The dealers get the most severe penalty. They banned from ever playing an NCAA sport.

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Yelsewh October 18, 2014 at 12:59 pm

There’s nothing illegal about a college athlete taking money for autographs as long as taxes are paid.

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Squishy123 October 17, 2014 at 12:53 pm

Shocking!!!

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mamatiger92 October 17, 2014 at 1:01 pm

chuckling now remembering all of the Garcia apologists a few years back.

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Frank Howard October 17, 2014 at 1:04 pm

That boy sho’ is a team player, ain’t he?

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9" October 17, 2014 at 1:06 pm

What a jerk.Nobody likes a rat.

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Bible Thumper October 17, 2014 at 5:37 pm

—– Garcia added he would have taken money for his autograph, but no one offered because he was viewed as “a rich white kid.”——

I don’t believe him. Offers are based on the value of the signature not how rich you are. A quarterbacks would be valuable. Kinda bigoted. What a white guy wouldn’t take money or break the rule?

“but we’ve always respected his grit and his straightforwardness.”

Yet, by not naming names he creates suspicions about innocent teamates. How straightforward is that?

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RHood2 October 17, 2014 at 5:44 pm

Rich white kids autographs are wanted.
Does the name Johnny Football ring a bell????

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Guest October 17, 2014 at 8:18 pm

You can get his signature free with a FOIA to the Richland County Detention Center.

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Linda Giles October 18, 2014 at 2:39 pm

That’s fine with me but you have to figure some tax evasion charges there too!! Let’s see taxes on $160, 000 & taxes of a degree paid for now! Wow parents how much are you paying for a degree & room & board? I’m thinking I’m with Garcia!! Be very careful what you ask for-being a grown-up sucks sometimes!

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sparklecity October 19, 2014 at 11:11 am

It’s all about money

Major college and professional football has become the new Bread and Circus for the masses.

Fuck the whole sorry mess in its present form is what I say

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