South Carolina Football: How Will G.A. Mangus' Arrest Affect Gamecocks' Season?

Paul Cook@@paulgeecookContributor IIIJuly 27, 2011

We now know at least three things about South Carolina QB coach G.A. Mangus that we didn't know a week ago.

The first is that he apparently likes the taste of a drink (and, based on reports from the Greenville Police Department, sometimes he hits the ball a long damn way).  

Second, he seems to have a certain fondness for, shall we say, the "cool of the evening" on his bare skin.

And third, Mangus, like pretty much everyone else associated with college or professional sports programs these days, is quite adept at those annoyingly phony, Mad Libbed, fill-in-the-blank, cookie-cutter apology statements:

"Last night I acted irresponsibly, and I deeply regret my actions.  I take full responsibility. I would like to publicly apologize to Coach Spurrier, Eric Hyman, the entire team and everyone associated with the University of South Carolina.”

So there you have it.  

But what I suspect most concerns South Carolina fans about this arrest is that Mangus is supposed to be the adult, the coach, the tutor, the spiritual advisor, the shaman, the "responsible one," the what-have-you to troubled Gamecock QB Stephen Garcia, who, as even your 93-year old grandmother knows, is now on his unprecedented sixth chance.  

How deep must be the well of Steve Spurrier's patience? 

Look. We all know that if Spurrier had his way, Stephen Garcia would be an eagle scout.

Besides helping old ladies across busy streets and leading Bible study groups, the Garcia of Spurrier's loftiest fantasies would also probably have one of those 1950s-style Johnny Unitas haircuts and go around asking strangers if "they're interested in accepting the free gift of salvation."  

And Gamecock fans also know that this will never happen.

But I think what so frustrates Spurrier—and so disappoints Carolina fans—is that Garcia has the physical tools to be a top-tier SEC QB, but mentally or emotionally or spiritually or whatever, he just needs to toughen up.  

On the one hand, Spurrier should probably figure it out already that Garcia will never be Danny Wuerffel (which my spellcheck keeps trying to change to "kerfuffle"), and I think he probably knows this.  

But on the other hand, if South Carolina is going to make the kind of run in 2011 that the media, the fans, the team and probably even a few of the more intelligent Clemson fans think the Gamecocks are capable of, then they must tighten up on these mental mistakes.  

That starts off the field.  And it includes everyone.