Busy Day: Spurrier calls out newspaper columnist, boots Garcia f - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

Busy Day: Spurrier calls out newspaper columnist, boots Garcia from squad

COLUMBIA, S.C. - South Carolina's Steve Spurrier had a busy day on Tuesday. First, he refused to hold his weekly news conference in usual style unless a Columbia newspaper columnist left the room, and then kicked his starting quarterback off the team.

Spurrier first announced he wouldn't speak to assembled reporters unless Ron Morris of The State newspaper left. The Gamecocks coach said Morris wrote a story he labeled "fabricated" last spring that said he'd recruited Bruce Ellington, the leading scorer from Carolina's basketball team, over to the football side.

"Completely untrue story," Spurrier said. "In 26 years as a head coach, I've had have two guys that didn't write the truth that I had to disassociate with. He's one of them over here." He then pointed to Morris.

"Since he sits in on all these meetings it's basically I'm helping him to contribute writing negative stuff about our football program, simple as that. So I'm not gonna talk when he's in here. That's my right as a head coach."

Spurrier met with local TV stations for interviews, but when Morris remained in the main interview room, he again walked out.

Shortly after that, South Carolina announced that fifth-year senior quarterback Stephen Garcia had been kicked off the team. Athletic director Eric Hyman said the fifth-year senior failed to meet agreed-upon guidelines put in place after Garcia's fifth suspension this past spring. The Associated Press reports that Garcia failed a test for alcohol.

Garcia had started 34 games, including four this season before he was benched in favor of sophomore Connor Shaw. Shaw threw for four touchdowns and 311 yards in a 54-3 victory over Kentucky this past Saturday.

Garcia wore a black baseball cap on the sidelines against the Wildcats, encouraging Shaw and patting him on the back.

Spurrier said Garcia was given several chances to be a student athlete at South Carolina and it was sad he could not live up to that commitment.

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