Clemson University

No championship rings yet for Clemson players suspended for playoff. Here’s why

New Clemson team with new challenges. That’s business as usual, Dabo says

Clemson football coach Dabo Swinney speaks Wednesday, July 17, at ACC Kickoff media event in Charlotte about the upcoming season.
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Clemson football coach Dabo Swinney speaks Wednesday, July 17, at ACC Kickoff media event in Charlotte about the upcoming season.

Kelly Bryant isn’t the only player who played for Clemson in 2018 that has yet to receive a national championship ring.

Former Clemson players Dexter Lawrence and Zach Giella, and current Tigers tight end Braden Galloway, have also yet to receive national championship rings. Those three were suspended for a full calendar year prior to the start of the College Football Playoff after testing positive for the banned substance ostarine. Clemson appealed the suspensions, but they were upheld, with the final ruling coming in May.

NCAA rules state that “awards for participation in special events may be provided only to student-athletes eligible to participate in the competition.”

Clemson defeated Notre Dame 30-3 in the Cotton Bowl and then beat Alabama 44-16 to earn the Tigers’ second national championship in three seasons. Since Lawrence, Giella and Galloway were ineligible to play in the College Football Playoff, they were unable to receive rings.

A Clemson spokesperson confirmed the three have yet to receive rings, adding that Clemson is working through the NCAA to try to get them.

Bryant, who played in four games for the Tigers last season before sitting out the rest of the year and eventually transferring to Missouri, will not receive a national title ring, Tigers coach Dabo Swinney confirmed Thursday.

“I mean, he wasn’t on the team. It’s as simple as that. We played 11 games after he left. We played 15 games,” Swinney said. “I love Kelly. But you’ve gotta be on the team. He certainly could’ve been here, but he wasn’t.”

Lawrence turned pro following last season, leaving after his junior year, and was drafted by the Giants in the first round of the 2019 NFL draft.

Giella’s career at Clemson is over because he lost a year of eligibility, while Galloway, who was slated to be Clemson’s starting tight end this season, is suspended for the year.

Galloway is expected to be eligible to play for the Tigers in the postseason after his suspension reaches a calendar year.

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