And there you have it.
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 will be suspended for the Cotton Bowl. Meeting with the media for the first time since the news broke, and as he awaited the results of the test of his B sample, Lawrence claimed earlier Thursday that he had no idea how the substance showed up in the NCAA-administered drug test.
Thursday night, Clemson athletic director Dan Radakovich said in a statement that the university received confirmation that the suspensions have been upheld. That means that Lawrence, as well as tight end Braden Galloway and offensive lineman Zach Giella, will be unavailable for Saturday’s playoff game against Notre Dame.
Radakovich added that “[t]he athletic department will have no further comment on the matter this evening as it considers all of our options, including appeals.”
Should the university opt to appeal the decisions to the NCAA, it wouldn’t impact Saturday’s game; rather, it would be with an eye toward the national championship game next month should the Tigers get past the Fighting Irish.
Lawrence is one of the top defensive linemen in the country, although his absence will be somewhat mitigated by the fact that Clemson’s line is the deepest and most talented in the country. Galloway and Giella have played sparingly or not at all during their time with the Tigers.