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Handling of Garcia Tarnishes S. Carolina Program

AP Photo

THE MOMENT IS burned in my memory. It was the spring of 2006 on a beautiful, sunlit day in central Florida. Several of the spring sports teams at Jefferson High School in Tampa were honing their skills at the track and on surrounding fields.

His final class of the day behind him, Stephen Garcia soon was expected at the locker room adjacent to the football practice field. Then he emerged, pushing the school door open and removing his shirt almost in one motion.

His classmates on the girls’ track team swooned as they walked past him. His long, flowing hair, confident gait and glowing smile made him look like some Greek god.

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