GAINESVILLE, Fla. (AP) — Florida quarterback Will Grier has been suspended indefinitely for violating the NCAA’s policy on banned performance-enhancing drugs.
The school announced the suspension at a press conference on Monday. Grier, who failed a drug test, said he took an over-the-counter supplement.
Florida plans to appeal to reduce the suspension, which according to NCAA rules could last one year and cost him 25 percent of his total college eligibility.
Coach Jim McElwain said Grier made a mistake that could have been avoided by talking to the team’s medical staff.
“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 that was on the NCAA list of things that you can’t have,” McElwain said.
“Again, 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.”
Grier was emotional while apologizing for his mistake.
“I really hope people can learn from this, learn from my mistake,” he said.
The No. 11 Gators (6-0, 4-0 Southeastern Conference) play at No. 6 LSU (5-0, 3-0) Saturday. Grier, a freshman, has started the last five games for the Gators. Sophomore Treon Harris is expected to start in his place.
Grier and the Gators have been one of the most surprising teams in the country in their first year under McElwain, the former Colorado State coach and Alabama assistant. The Gators already have matched last year’s regular-season win total and have a commanding lead in the SEC East race.
Harris started Florida’s opener against New Mexico State, and he and Grier split the snaps in the second week against East Carolina. He has not thrown a pass since. He is 19 for 27 for 269 yards and two touchdowns.
He played nine games as a freshman last season, completing 45 percent of his passes for 1,019 yards, nine touchdowns and four interceptions.