Florida Gators redshirt freshman quarterback Will Grier will be suspended for a full calendar year – including the remainder of the 2015 season – for a violation of the NCAA’s banned substance policy.
Grier’s suspension was handed down after he tested positive for a performance-enhancing drug, a source told OnlyGators.com early Monday afternoon. The school confirmed as much when McElwain opened up a press conference an hour later.
“Will Grier won’t play this week and obviously in the near future due to taking a supplement, an over-the-counter supplement that had something in it that was on the NCAA list of things that you can’t have,” he began. “It’s something that he feels horrible about. It’s an honest mistake, and yet, can be prevented by just checking with our medical staff. I want everybody to understand that this is a mistake we’ll learn from.”
At the same press conference, Grier confirmed that he “took an over-the-counter supplement that had something in it,” noting he “did not check with the medical staff before taking it.”
According to NCAA bylaws, Grier’s suspension will last a full calendar year (365 days), though the team can appeal that mandate at the conclusion of the season.
Under Bylaw 22.214.171.124.1, the student-athlete becomes ineligible for all regular season and postseason competition until eligibility is reinstated by the NCAA student-athlete reinstatement staff on behalf of the committee. Pursuant to Bylaw 126.96.36.199.1, requests for reinstatement of eligibility will not be considered until the student-athlete has remained ineligible for a minimum of one calendar year (365 days) after the student-athlete has tested positive for a banned substance and after the student-athlete has been withheld from the equivalent of an NCAA season, the student-athlete retests negative by the NCAA (notice of which is provided to the student-athlete reinstatement staff by The National Center for Drug Free Sport), and the institution submits a request for reinstatement of eligibility via AMA Online.
Grier, who has started the last five games for Florida and emerged as the best option for the Gators at that position, has completed 65.8 percent of his passes this season for 1,204 yards and 10 touchdowns, also running for 116 yards and two more scores.
Replacing Grier as starting quarterback for the Gators will be sophomore Treon Harris, who himself was suspended two games ago for violation of team rules. Harris started the final six games of the 2014 season for Florida and as well as the team’s 2015 season opener but lost the quarterback battle to Grier in Week 2 against East Carolina.
The Gators, which vaulted to No. 8 in the AP Top 25 this week, are set to take on No. 6 LSU on Saturday night at 7 p.m. in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. The Tigers opened at a 6.5-point home favorite in the game.
Mike Huguenin of GridironNow.com first reported Grier’s suspension.