Florida Gators redshirt freshman quarterback Will Grier had his appeal of a year-long NCAA suspension for use of a banned substance denied Friday.
Grier will not be able to return to the field for the Gators until the seventh week of the 2016 season, when he will be a redshirt sophomore. Florida’s seventh game will be held on Saturday, Oct. 15 against Missouri in Gainesville, Florida. The Gators will play LSU the week prior and have a bye week the following Saturday.
The Orlando Sentinel’s Edgar Thompson first reported the denial, which Florida confirmed an hour later.
In an attempt to get Grier’s suspension reduced from 12 months to the remainder of the 2015 season, the player, his lawyers and the University Athletic Association filed an official appeal and pleaded their case on a conference call held Monday.
Grier previously admitted to taking the banned substance for which he tested positive, noting that he did not consult Florida’s training staff before ingesting what he described as an over-the-counter product.
Though Grier was the Gators’ starting quarterback and has been allowed, per NCAA rules, to practice with the team while suspended, he has not done so. Head coach Jim McElwain noted that Grier’s had more important things to deal with – namely, the suspension and subsequent appeal – though it is unknown whether he will return to the practice field this season.
It remains unknown what will happen at quarterback for Florida when Grier returns. Presumably, sophomore Treon Harris will have started 14+ consecutive contests by that point and should have a handle on the starting job, though his play has not been up to Grier’s level as of late.
Grier shined as a starter for the Gators, leading them to a come-from-behind road victory at Tennessee and dominant 28-10 win over Ole Miss. In Grier’s last 10 quarters as Florida’s quarterback, the Gators outscored their opponents 70-23.