Garcia fully reinstated

jkendall@thestate.comAugust 1, 2011 

Stephen Garcia

GERRY MELENDEZ — The State

Senior quarterback Stephen Garcia officially has survived his fifth suspension.

South Carolina head coach Steve Spurrier told The State that the Gamecocks’ starting quarterback was off probationary status and was a full member of the team as of Monday.

“He has done everything asked of him,” Spurrier said Monday afternoon.

Garcia was placed on indefinite suspension during spring practice after an incident at a character development program hosted by the school. He was reinstated on a probationary status in June so that he could participate in summer workouts with his teammates.

Garcia will join the Gamecocks when they open practice Wednesday night, Spurrier said. Spurrier has indicated for weeks that Garcia was on track to return to the team, but he said Monday that he, university president Harris Pastides and athletic director Eric Hyman had agreed to wait until August to make a final decision.

“Stephen Garcia has changed his lifestyle almost completely,” Spurrier said. “He has been on time, no goofing around. He is very serious and has shown a commitment we have never seen before. Hopefully, that will continue, and I expect it to continue. I expect him to be a different person.”

Garcia is coming off his best season and is third in school history in passing yards (6,753) and touchdowns (43). He has started 30 games, including 28 straight, for the Gamecocks.

Garcia was in his hometown of Tampa, Fla., on Monday.

“Unless anything happens before he gets back from Tampa, he’s back, and I don’t think anything is going to happen,” Spurrier said.

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