Clemson’s hope for having one of the nation’s top defensive lineman available for the national championship game against Alabama have officially been extinguished.
Christmas Eve, reports emerged that three Clemson football players, including star defensive tackle Dexter Lawrence, had tested positive for ostarine, a banned substance used to help increase muscle mass and strength, and would be suspended for the College Football Playoff semifinal game against Notre Dame. A second sample was tested and, much to the chagrin of a mind-boggled Lawrence, the suspension was upheld, although the university confirmed it would pursue an appeal of the ruling that would allow the lineman to play against the Crimson Tide.
In a statement Thursday afternoon, athletic director Dan Radakovich confirmed that Lawrence, along with tight end Braden Galloway and offensive lineman Zach Giella, will remain suspended and will not be available for Monday night’s title game. The trio will, however, be permitted to travel with the team to California.
Radakovich also noted that the university will continue the appeals process with the NCAA on behalf of the players.
Clemson will not have tight end Braden Galloway, offensive lineman Zach Giella and defensive tackle Dexter Lawrence available for Monday’s College Football Playoff National Championship against Alabama. However, Clemson has been informed by the NCAA that the three student-athletes will be permitted to travel to Santa Clara, Calif., with the team later this week.
“As requested by these student-athletes, Clemson filed notices of appeal with the NCAA. We will continue to work with the three impacted student-athletes and their legal representatives over the coming weeks to prepare the appeals. Neither Clemson, Galloway, Giella nor Lawrence anticipate having further comment on this matter until after the appeals have concluded.
After winning the ACC Defensive Rookie of the Year award for the 2016 season, Lawrence has been a first-team all-conference selection each of the past two seasons. Galloway, a true freshman, has caught five passes for 52 yards and a touchdown, while Giella, a redshirt junior, has played in 19 games during his time with the Tigers, including eight this season.