COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) - Highly touted South Carolina freshman quarterback Stephen Garcia has been suspended after being ticketed for underage drinking in his third run-in with police in about a year. Athletics spokesman Steve Fink said Tuesday that Garcia would not be allowed to practice or meet with the team until August 15. His attorney said Garcia paid a $257 fine Monday after he and two other players were charged with underage drinking over the weekend. The 20-year-old Garcia was arrested in 2007 and charged with drunkenness and failure to stop for a police officer. He was arrested a month later on charges of malicious injury to personal property after a professor said Garcia had used a key to scratch the man's car.
"Stephen Garcia broke University rules," said South Carolina Athletic Director Eric Hyman. "Therefore he is suspended from all team activities through August 15."
Garcia is suspended from summer school and will need to leave the University dorms by next week. The Tampa, FL native can finish the current semester, but he will not be allowed to participate in any football related activities. Garcia would return two weeks into the Gamecocks summer practice schedule.