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S. Carolina to decide Garcia's fate in summer

HILTON HEAD ISLAND, S.C. — Suspended South Carolina quarterback Stephen Garcia's future with the program will be decided in the summer, coach Steve Spurrier said.

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Spurrier, who said he has recently spoken with the former Jefferson High star, said athletic director Eric Hyman and university president Harris Pastides also will have input in the decision.

"We've all three given him guidelines, and we'll see how he follows those," Spurrier was quoted as saying on ESPN.com. " … Hopefully, it will work out that he'll be back with us with maybe a lot better attitude than he's ever had."

Garcia, who is on track to graduate in May, was suspended earlier this month for "unacceptable behavior." He has run afoul of Spurrier and the law several times in his college career.

If the quarterback does not return, sophomore Connor Shaw would be the starter.

Auburn trees case: A defense attorney for Harvey Updyke Jr., the Alabama fan suspected of poisoning the landmark trees at Auburn's Toomer's Corner, said prosecutors rejected a plea deal that would have spared him jail time.

Updyke made a brief appearance in Lee County District Court, where his attorney waived his right to a preliminary hearing. Attorney Glennon Threatt Jr. said prosecutors rejected what he called a "low-ball" plea deal to the District Attorney's Office on behalf of Updyke, who wore a crimson-colored tie to the hearing.

Updyke, 62, is free on bond. He is charged with first-degree criminal mischief in the poisoning of the trees, where Auburn fans celebrate victories by heaving toilet paper into the branches of the 130-year-old oaks.

Later in the day, Updyke told police he was assaulted shortly after leaving the courthouse.

Updyke said he was attacked when he stepped out of his car at a gas station on Birmingham Highway, according to Opelika Police Capt. Allan Elkins.

Updyke said he was punched in the head and believes there was more than one person involved, but he didn't see who did it. The gas station did not have surveillance video and there were apparently no witnesses.

Pace shooting: The parents of a Pace University player are suing the police officer who shot and killed him, calling the shooting an "unconscionable use of force." In a complaint filed in federal court in White Plains, N.Y., Danroy Henry Sr. and Angella Henry said Pleasantville officer Aaron Hess violated the civil and constitutional rights of their son, Danroy Henry Jr. Hess, was cleared of wrongdoing by a grand jury in February. Hess shot Henry through the windshield of Henry's car Oct. 17 as the 20-year-old drove away from a disturbance that spilled out of a bar.

Umass: The school says its football team, currently part of Division I-AA, will join the Mid-American Conference starting with the 2012 season.

Kentucky trio chooses draft, but not agents

LEXINGTON, Ky. — Kentucky freshmen Terrence Jones and Brandon Knight and junior DeAndre Liggins are heading to the NBA. Maybe.

The school announced all three have declared for the NBA draft but will not sign with an agent, clearing the way for them to return to school in the fall if they change their minds by May 8.

Jones and Knight are considered mid to high first-round picks, while Liggins is a defensive stopper who hopes to play his way into the first round after being evaluated by scouts.

Stetson: Former Belmont assistant Casey Alexander was hired as the new coach.

UCF sweeps UF: The UCF baseball team (24-14) withstood a grand slam by former Plant standout Preston Tucker and beat No. 5 Florida (28-10) 8-6 in front of a record crowd of 3,601 fans in Orlando. UCF swept the two-game season series.

S. Carolina to decide Garcia's fate in summer 04/20/11 [Last modified: Thursday, April 21, 2011 12:58am]

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