One of the biggest storylines heading into the 2018 College Football Playoff continues to unfold as it winds its way through The Association’s process.
Along with All-American Dexter Lawrence, tight end Braden Galloway and offensive lineman Zach Giella (pictured, No. 77) were suspended ahead of the College Football Playoff after testing positive in mid-December for ostarine, a banned substance used to help increase muscle mass and strength. A second sample was tested as well and, much to the chagrin of a mind-boggled Lawrence, the suspension was upheld and the trio missed the semifinal win over Notre Dame as well as the championship game win over Alabama.
At the time it was confirmed that they would miss the title game, it was acknowledged by athletic director Dan Radakovich that “Clemson filed notices of appeal with the NCAA” and “will continue to work with the three impacted student-athletes and their legal representatives over the coming weeks to prepare the appeals.” As Lawrence is off to the NFL, the appeal, when it comes to the 2019 college football season, will focus on Galloway and Giella.
In offering an update on the situation, the Charleston Post & Courier is reporting that Galloway and Giella remain as a part of the Tigers football program as they await word from the NCAA on their appeals. Both players have been suspended for one full year because of the failed drug test, which means they would miss at least the entire 2019 regular season if their appeals are denied.
According to the Post & Courier, NCAA rules would prohibit Giella from playing in a bowl game if the suspension is upheld because he will be in his final year of eligibility in 2019 and has already played three seasons. Galloway, however, would be permitted to play in a bowl/playoff game. There’s more from the newspaper on Galloway’s eligibility situation:
If Galloway were to play in postseason games for the Tigers in 2019, under the new redshirt rule he would not burn an additional year of eligibility because he would have played in less than four games. However, he still loses a year for the suspension.
Under that scenario, Galloway could still have two years left to play beginning in 2020.
Galloway, a true freshman, caught five passes for 52 yards and a touchdown in 2018, while Giella, a redshirt junior, has played in 19 games during his time with the Tigers, including eight this past season.
Both players will be permitted to participate in spring practice the month after next even if the appeals process continues.