What you need to know about Florida Gators QB Will Grier’s appeal of his NCAA suspension

By Adam Silverstein
November 17, 2015

Redshirt freshman quarterback Will Grier, serving a one-year suspension for violating the NCAA’s policy on banned substances, and the Florida Gators hope to see the player’s punishment reduced; the two parties are currently in the appeals process with the organization in hopes of seeing just that happen.

With much misinformation swirling surrounding Grier’s suspension, the appeals process and what’s next for the player, OnlyGators.com is here to wrap it all up and clarify things.

Why is Grier suspended?
Grier tested positive for a substance on the NCAA’s banned list. It is not known which specific substance he took, though multiple reports and a source close to the process that spoke with OnlyGators.com described it as a performance-enhancing drug. It is up to the Grier family whether to disclose the particular substance or form in which it was taken.

What is Grier’s exact suspension?
Due to violating the policy, Grier was suspended for a full calendar year, 365 days, as of Oct. 12, 2015. Should that suspension remain unchanged, he would not be eligible to play for the Gators until the seventh game of the 2016 season – against Missouri on Oct. 15 – when he will be listed as a redshirt sophomore. In the interim, Grier will be allowed to practice with Florida, though he has not returned to the field since being suspended more than one month ago.

What exactly is being appealed and who is appealing?
Grier, through attorney Clay Townsend of Morgan & Morgan, appealed the length of his ban and is seeking a reduction in his punishment, likely requesting that it conclude at the end of the 2015 season. Townsend has spent the last few weeks collecting evidence and building Grier’s case, sending appropriate materials to the NCAA in order to reference as he divulged his findings on the call itself.

The case is likely centered on one of two angles: Grier unwittingly taking a banned substance or his lawyers uncovering an issue with the way Grier’s urine sample was taken, transported and/or tested. Grier admitted to taking something that included the banned substance at his press conference on Oct. 12, noting that he did not check with Florida to confirm that what he took was allowed by NCAA rules.

Grier and Townsend presented the player’s case on a conference call with NCAA officials on Monday. According to the Orlando Sentinel’s Edgar Thompson, “University of Florida athletics director Jeremy Foley and a lawyer for the University Athletic Association also were on the call, as required by NCAA rules.”

When will a verdict be rendered on Grier’s appeal?
While NCAA officials could theoretically rule on Grier’s appeal immediately – within 24 to 48 hours of the call – a decision was never expected to be rendered within that timeframe. More than likely, it will come down as early as the end of the week and as late as the first week in December, considering the upcoming holiday. Most expect the NCAA to make an announcement on Grier’s appeal sooner than later.

Were there really “Free Willy” shirts made by his family?


A photo posted by Chad Grier (@coachgrier7) on

How does this affect Florida in 2015?
What’s done is done. Grier is on the sideline and sophomore Treon Harris is the starting quarterback for the remainder of the season.


  1. Christine says:

    I’m concerned that the shirts could affect his appeal in a negative way by conveying a lack of respect for the process. Some fans have questioned whether it violates any NCAA rules. I’m assuming they didn’t sell them, although someone is selling a different version on Etsy and using his name.
    I’m certainly hoping he will be able to play all season next year. Go Gators!

  2. SaraGator says:

    I’m surprised Grier’s family made the t-shirts. I saw a few people wearing the same shirts for homecoming game.

  3. Sharon Milner says:

    These shirts are not in goodtaste since Will has already said he was guilty of taking the banned substance..

    It also appears sexist and unprofessional more like an ad for Hooters.

    It was a mistake.

  4. Johnjd says:

    Is Will practicing with team? Sounds like no based on article. If not, I assume he is attending classes?

  5. Mike The Red says:

    Those shirts did not help his case. What the heck were they thinking?

    There is a time to keep your mouth shut and let your lawyer do the talking.

  6. uf_84 says:

    This appeal is most likely a big waste of time with or with out the Grier family’s dumbass t-shirts. There’s no way the NCAA is going to reduce his suspension. If they denied UGA’s Colton Houston’s appeal a few years ago when he had a doctor’s prescription following shoulder surgery they’re not going to give Grier a break because he “unknowingly” took something by mistake. They even made Houston wait three years because it took that long for whatever he took to get out of his system and not show up on a test. We can only hope that whatever Grier took isn’t still in his system 11 months from now.

    In the meantime, he would be much more help to the team by going back to practice and running the scout team to give our defense some work preparing for an opponent against a QB that’s as good or better than the one they would be facing in the actual game.

  7. HoneyBee says:

    This looks like dad is clawing for help from the media…this doesn’t look good for Grier.
    It amazes me that not too many have taken notice to Grier not practicing or training with the team, I find that very odd.

  8. 305Gator says:

    How does this affect Florida in 2015?
    If we are talking about the suspension, it has already affected us resulting in poor QB play, struggling to beat bad teams and thus not getting enough respect in the eyes of the playoff committee people. I understand that if we run the table we will be one of the 4 playoff teams no matter how ugly we win. I also understand that if we don’t get better QB play we will have a hard time defeating quality teams like Bama.
    As far as the shirts go, who cares, they are immaterial one way or the other. Must say that some of those girls look darned good in them.
    Hope that the decision will be handed out no later than early December so that we can prepare before the end of the recruiting cycle as this may affect potential QB prospects.

  9. Wes says:

    If he’s allowed to practice in the interim, do we know why he hasn’t been practicing?

  10. Scott says:

    I respectfully demand that those women take off those offensive T-shirts immediately!

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