Gator Nation mourns as Will Grier is suspended for violating NCAA drug policy

Grier dejectedI hate waking up to bad news.

It ruins your whole day.

I was the only one to actually wake up to news of Will Grier’s suspension considering I slept until one in the afternoon the day the news was released.  It turns out I should have slept a bit longer.

The depressing news for Gator Nation spread like wildfire once GridIron Now broke the story.  Between Twitter and Facebook, my phone didn’t stop vibrating for hours.

A season of hope the likes Florida fans hadn’t seen in years had suddenly taken a dramatic turn for the worse.

At first, we didn’t hear why Grier was gone, only that he was suspended for the rest of the season.  What could possibly warrant such a penalty?  Minor drug violations carry a game at best.  Bar brawls or physical altercations about the same, depending on the severity.  Miss class?  Those frivolities are generally overlooked.  What the hell could Grier have done to warrant such a lengthy suspension, putting his team’s season and perhaps his entire college career on the line?

Steroids.

The ever-revolving world of sports giving me things to write about isn’t always a good thing.

The story goes that Florida starting quarterback took an over the counter supplement that “had something in it that the NCAA didn’t approve.”  Hence, the year-long suspension.

the BozI tried to recall the last time a major college athlete had been linked to steroids.  Brian Bosworth and Tony Mandarich came to mind but that was decades ago.  College football players, perhaps somewhat surprisingly, never get busted for steroid use.  Either they don’t use them, understanding how it could jeopardize their careers or they are smart enough to not get caught.

Will Grier got caught and as it stands right now, will have to wait a year before he ever puts on a Gator uniform again.  Ugh!

Grier was supposed to be the next Tim Tebow.  He was even starting to play like it.  He led his team to a head-turning, program-reinvigorating, 5-0 start.  But two things Tebow never did at the University of Florida were take illegal drugs or sleep with women.

So much for following in another man’s footsteps.

Coach McElwain allowed the dejected superstar freshman to step to the microphone and speak at Monday’s doom-and-gloom press conference.  Again, this was no Tebow moment.  Grier apologized, seemingly contrite and barely able to mutter anything other than “I’m sorry.”

Welcome to the SEC, Coach Mac.  Pimpin’ ain’t easy when you have 105 guys to babysit.

Grier on cover of ParadeLess than one month ago, I wrote that there are defining moments in a young quarterback’s career.  Wil Grier had one against Tennessee.  He had another one Monday afternoon.  It was a moment he and a million other Gator fans would rather forget.  Before you drink and get behind the wheel of a car, you should know better.  Before you have unprotected sex, you should understand the consequences of your actions.  And if you are a high-profile athlete, you should know better than to take a supplement that could jeopardize your career, your reputation and your team’s entire season.

In the end, Grier has no one to blame but himself.  Florida will appeal the suspension but the damage is done.

So now we wait.

Gator fans are used to disappointment lately.  This one just stung a little differently.  Our shining light at the end of the tunnel has been dimmed.  And as it stands right now, Grier’s shining light will have to wait a full calendar year before it ever flickers again.

14 thoughts on “Gator Nation mourns as Will Grier is suspended for violating NCAA drug policy

  1. I was gonna query you about this yesterday but I knew a post would eventually come. As a fan of fandom I feel badly for all Gator fans. I don’t have a dog in this hunt but if you asked me who I normally root for in SEC play Florida is right up there on the top tier. It sucks for the college game as well. The Gators were making such a strong statement for the new coaching staff and helping to wash away prior disappointments. You know it once again re-enforces the actions of one can impact the futures of many. A mis-step is often not restricted to the world of the person who committed it. Let’s just hope it ends with the one player and doesn’t go “viral.”

  2. It’s an unfortunate state of affairs, my friend.

    Just when we thought we were back on the right track, this happens.

    I guess it’s important to keep things in perspective. The division is still winnable. As is the conference.

    That just all seemed a lot more likely to happen with Grier behind center.

  3. Chris,

    Please give me an assessment of the backup. The current adjustment is not quite a touchdown. LSU went from 5.5 to 9.5 favorite. He’s thrown into the fire on a Saturday night in Baton Rouge. Ugh!

  4. Steroid use by athletes is bad, but a full year suspension by the NCAA for a first offense, which appeared to be somewhat of an accident – that is ridiculous !!
    Ok. I am a Gator- but I would be saying the same thing, even if it was a Nole or Cane… Well maybe not if it was a Cane.

  5. Whether he put on 20 or 40 pounds (depends on who you talk to) his bulking up had become a bigger topic of discussion as time passed. Guess the NCAA thought they should test him to see what he was doing. This was no over the counter flu remedy. He was on the radar already and got busted. Sad that they feel the need to do things like this to compete. But all he heard was that he needed to bulk up to play in the SEC!

  6. Once a dumb-@ss, always a frigging dumb-@ss. That’s Will Grier for you. Was on the meds , because he’s a dumb-ass or simply because he’s no different than any other self-absorbed moron athlete at the collegiate level , who believe they’re not answerable to anyone ?

    Duh , I (Will Grier) attend Florida, because I wanna be a pro athlete and not because of the privilege derived from gaining an education free of charge.

  7. If that’s the case, Danny, it’s highly unlikely the NCAA will listen to any appeal.

    Did you guys hear about the Tweet from Alex Tyus who played ball under Donovan? He hinted that if Urban Meyer were still there, none of this would have come out.

    I’m surprised more wasn’t made out of that Tweet.

  8. Al…

    It is my understanding that athletes are told time and time again to check with the school’s staff before they take anything at all.

    I guess he didn’t do that.

    But Dan’s right. If the guy bulks up 40 pounds in the off-season, it might also be the strength and conditioning coach’s responsibility to say something.

    Little too late at this point.

  9. Man. I don’t know tophatal but damn dude are you perfect? You are harsh. I know when I was 20 something I f’d up every other day. A year suspension for steroids when you can beat the fuck out of a woman and be back in 2 weeks? I don’t get it

  10. The NCAA probably does need to take a look at its rules and violations just like the NFL, MLB and NBA has.

    MLB understandably has a tough policy on drug use considering it cast such a dark shadow on the sport over the years.

    And I’m sure Al appreciates the kind words, Moose. Most every one else tries to pick a fight with him.

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