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Garcia dismissed from Gamecocks -- this time, for good

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COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - University of South Carolina quarterback Stephen Garcia has been dismissed from the team for an as-yet-unknown violation, university officials announced on Tuesday.

After five separate suspensions during his career with the Gamecocks, it seems Garcia will not get another chance this time. "Being a student-athlete at the University of South Carolina is a privilege, not a right, and we remind all of our student-athletes that there are consequences for their actions," said Athletics Director Eric Hyman.

Hyman did not describe the specific actions in question, but said Garcia broke the established guidelines that allowed him to return to the team after his fourth suspension. ESPN's Chris Low reports that Garcia tested positive for marijuana and alcohol. "[Garcia] has therefore forfeited his position on the roster," added Hyman. "We wish him the best of luck as he moves forward in life."

"We are all saddened that this has occurred," commented head coach Steve Spurrier, who benched Garcia on Saturday against Kentucky in favor of backup Connor Shaw. "We all feel like we've given Stephen numerous opportunities to be a student-athlete here at South Carolina."

The news of Garcia's dismissal may explain Spurrier's visible agitation during his weekly press conference on Tuesday. Pacing back and forth in front of a table Spurrier normally sits calmly behind, the head ball coach refused to give interviews with critical columnist Ron Morris in the room. Spurrier told reporters Garcia would be the backup quarterback for this Saturday's game against Mississippi State, but that responsibility will fall to now-second-string quarterback Andrew Clifford.

Garcia finishes his career with 7,597 passing yards and a 57.7% completion rate, with 47 touchdowns and 41 interceptions. He became the third quarterback in school history to throw for more than 7,500 yards in a career, and also ranks third on the all-time charts in pass attempts, pass completions and passing touchdowns.

This season, Garcia threw four touchdowns and nine interceptions in five games. Shaw demolished that statistic in his first full game, throwing four touchdowns with no interceptions against Kentucky. Garcia wore a black baseball cap on the sidelines against the Wildcats, encouraging Shaw and patting him on the back during the game.

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