Garcia, who had been suspended and brought back to the team five previous times, was dismissed Tuesday for failing an alcohol test, a person familiar with the decision said. The person spoke to the Associated Press on condition of anonymity because South Carolina had not announced specifically why Garcia had been kicked off the team.
The person told the AP that Garcia had agreed to undergo periodic tests for the presence of any alcohol as a condition of his reinstatement.
Athletic Director Eric Hyman would say only that Garcia was released after the fifth-year senior failed to meet agreed-upon guidelines.
"Being a student-athlete at the University of South Carolina is a privilege, not a right, and we remind all of our student-athletes that there are consequences for their actions," Hyman said in a statement.
Garcia told the AP in a text message Tuesday that he was "shocked and completely flabbergasted to be honest" by the dismissal.
The quarterback was suspended from all team activities in April for unacceptable conduct at a life-skills seminar. He was conditionally approved to work out with teammates in May, then reinstated fully last August just before football camp began.
Garcia started 34 games, including four this season, for the Gamecocks since arriving on campus in January 2007. He was demoted to second string behind sophomore Connor Shaw on Oct. 3 by Spurrier for inconsistent play and did not take part in a 54-3 blowout of Kentucky on Saturday.
The dismissal ends a turbulent tenure for the once-promising quarterback, who helped the Gamecocks to the Southeastern Conference Eastern Division title and was expected to do it again this season.
He passed for 3,059 yards and 20 touchdowns a year ago as the Gamecocks played in their first SEC championship game.