It has been more than a month since the Gators learned of Will Grier’s year-long suspension for a violation of the NCAA’s policy for performance-enhancing drugs.
But Florida’s redshirt freshman quarterback is still fighting to get his suspension reduced.
Orlando attorney Clay Townsend confirmed that Grier took a step forward in the appeals process, as they presented their case during a conference call with the NCAA on Monday. The NCAA has not made a decision on Grier’s appeal yet, but one is expected in the near future.
Justin Parker from the Lake Norman Citizen first reported that the call would be Monday.
“We have worked diligently on the investigation and appeal and we, along with all of the Gator Nation, look forward to Will’s return to eligibility as soon as possible. When the NCAA’s decision is rendered, we will issue a statement. I have no further comment at this time as to the conference, its substance, procedures or attendees,” Townsend wrote in a statement released to the Palm Beach Post.
“Will is a great athlete, a good person, and a significant contributor to the Gators winning the SEC East. Will and his family are grateful for everyone’s support.”
Townsend added that the University of Florida filed Grier’s appeal on Nov. 6.
If Grier’s suspension is not reduced, he would have to wait until the seventh game of the 2016 season to make his return — a home game against Missouri on Oct. 15 — as a redshirt sophomore.
In order to get his 12-month suspension reduced, Grier can either file a procedural challenge based on how the test sample was collected; or a knowledge challenge baded on the fact that he did not know the substance he took contained a banned ingredient.
On the same day as the conference call, the quarterback’s father — Chad Grier — posted a photo of a himself and others wearing t-shirts that read “Free Willy.”
After starting the season in a battle with sophomore Treon Harris for the starting quarterback job, Grier had taken control of the role before his suspension. Grier completed 65.8 percent of his passes for 1,204 yards, 10 touchdowns and three interceptions in six games this season.
“I took an over-the-counter supplement that had something in it,” an emotional Grier said to reporters on Oct. 12. “I did not check with the medical staff before taking it. I really hope that people can learn from my mistake. I’m really sorry to everyone. I’m just really sorry.”