Clemson University

The latest on Clemson’s appeal of suspensions due to failed drug tests

Clemson coach Dabo Swinney breaks down 2019 recruiting class

Tigers added two scholarship prospects Wednesday
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Tigers added two scholarship prospects Wednesday

It’s been more than a month since Clemson announced it was appealing the NCAA’s decision to uphold the suspensions of the three Tigers players who tested positive for ostarine prior to the start of the College Football Playoff, but there is still no resolution to the matter.

Athletics Director Dan Radakovich and members of Clemson’s athletic department are still searching for answers as to how Dexter Lawrence, Braden Galloway and Zach Giella ended up with the banned substance ostarine in their systems, leading to failed drug tests.

“I don’t have an update on it other than Dan, they’re handling all that stuff, and they’re working through that whole process still, trying to really kind of find out exactly where it came from or is it some type of contaminant or something,” Clemson coach Dabo Swinney said Wednesday. “So there’s a whole process that they’re going through, but at some point there will be some type of closure and appeal and all that. So I don’t know when that’s going to be but I can’t really worry about that right now.”

Lawrence announced that he was entering the NFL draft shortly after Clemson won the national championship against Alabama, but Galloway and Giella still have eligibility remaining.

If Clemson is able to win its appeal then Galloway will be able to contribute as a sophomore next season, while Giella, who played in 11 games this past season, will be a senior. If Clemson loses its appeal then both players will be suspended for the 2019 season.

“It’s a huge undertaking, and I really have not been in that loop,” Swinney said of the appeal process. “I’ve gone and seen Dan maybe like a minute here and a minute there over the last several weeks. I now that they’re all working through that.”

The loss of Galloway in particular would hurt the Tigers for the 2019 season. Clemson lost a pair of seniors at tight end in Milan Richard and Cannon Smith, and Galloway will compete for a starting job if he is eligible.

Galloway is allowed to work out with the team and participate in practices until the appeal process is complete, according to Swinney.

“He’s ineligible unless he wins his appeal, so that’s kind of where we are,” Swinney said. “The same thing with Zach.”

Galloway played in 12 of the 13 games that he was eligible for in 2018, catching five passes for 52 yards and a touchdown. He could play a big role in Clemson’s offense in 2019 if Clemson wins its appeal.

“He came in here last year really having a lot to figure out and man, he is super, super talented,” Swinney said. “This is big for him to get a lot of work this spring and get his tail in that weight room and to continue to develop and grind. He’s got a lot of opportunity.”

Matt Connolly is the Clemson beat writer and covers recruiting and college sports for The State newspaper and The State.com

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