Report: Gator QB Will Grier loses appeal, suspended for first six games of 2016

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Earlier this week, it was reported that Florida quarterback Will Grier was still awaiting a decision from the NCAA on his appeal of a one-year suspension.  The wait is over for Grier, although it’s doubtful this is the outcome for which he was hoping.

While there’s nothing official yet from the school, the player or the NCAA, the Orlando Sentinel is reporting that Grier’s appeal has been shot down by The Association.  Grier had been seeking to reduce a 12-month suspension for using a performance-enhancing drug to the remainder of the 2015 season.

As the appeal has apparently been denied, Grier will now be forced to serve a suspension for the first six games of the 2016 season on top of the at least eight games — six regular season, SEC championship, bowl — he’ll miss in 2015. That appeal denial came after Grier, his lawyer and UF’s University Athletic Association stated their case during a conference call with the NCAA this past Monday.

Grier has repeatedly claimed that he took an over-the-counter supplement and was unaware the substance he took was on the banned list issued by the NCAA. He has, though, acknowledged that he didn’t consult with UF’s training staff prior to ingesting it.

After Treon Harris started and won the first two games of the 2015 season, Grier started and won the next four.  Harris has been the starter since Grier’s suspension, and the Gators have gone 3-1 in becoming both the SEC East champs and the No. 8 team in the country in the latest College Football Playoff rankings.

Grier will be a redshirt sophomore (probably) in returning for his truncated 2016 season.  Oregon State transfer and former Alabama quarterback Luke Del Rio will also join the mix next year.

WVU RB Donaldson in concussion protocol, out for Baylor game

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MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (AP) West Virginia running back CJ Donaldson is in concussion protocol and will miss next week’s home game with Baylor after he was injured in a loss to Texas, coach Neal Brown said Tuesday.

Donaldson remained on the ground after he was tackled on a short gain in the third quarter of Saturday’s 38-20 loss to the Longhorns. His helmet and shoulder pads were removed and he was carted off the field on a stretcher. After the game he was cleared to travel home with the team.

“He’s recovering,” Brown said. “There is a strict return-to-play (policy) that we have to follow here and I’m zero involved in it. All I do is ask the question. They don’t even start the return-to-play until they’re symptom free.”

Donaldson, a 240-pound freshman, leads the Mountaineers with 389 rushing yards and six touchdowns, with an average of 6.9 yards per carry.

West Virginia (2-3, 0-2 Big 12 Conference) is idle this week and hosts Baylor (3-2, 1-1) next Thursday, Oct. 13.

Taulia Tagovailoa says he visited brother, Tua, over weekend

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COLLEGE PARK, Md. – Maryland quarterback Taulia Tagovailoa was able to visit his brother, Tua, last weekend after the Terrapins’ game against Michigan State, he said Tuesday in his first comments to reporters since Tua left the Miami Dolphins’ game against Cincinnati last Thursday with a frightening head injury.

Taulia played in Maryland’s win over Michigan State on Saturday but was not made available to the media afterward. He said Tuesday he was able to go to Florida and spend some time with his brother, who suffered a concussion four days after taking a hit in another game but was cleared to return.

“He’s doing good, everything’s fine,” he said. “My biggest thing was just seeing him and spending as much time as I can with him. I came back Sunday night.”

Tagovailoa said he appreciates the support for his brother.

“My brother’s my heart. He’s someone I look up to, someone I talk to every day,” he said. “It was just a hard scene for me to see that.”

Tagovailoa said he was in constant contact with his mother about his brother’s situation, and he was finally able to talk to Tua on Friday night.

“I really just wanted to go there and just spend time with my family, hug them and stuff like that,” Taulia Tagovailoa said. “But he told me he’s a big fan of us, and he’d rather watch me play on Saturday. … After that phone call, I was happy and getting back to my normal routine.”

Tagovailoa indicated that his brother’s injury didn’t make him too nervous about his own health when he took the field again.

“I guess when that happens to someone like my brother, or when anything happens to one of my family members, I don’t really think of how it will be able to affect me,” he said. “I just think of: `Is he OK? How’s he doing?”‘

Although it was a short visit to Florida, he said he and Tua made the most of their chance to be together.

“I just wanted to make sure he’s healthy and stuff, which he is,” Taulia Tagovailoa said.