Will Grier’s appeal of a year-long suspension for violating the NCAA’s policy on performance-enhancing drugs has been filed, a source told GatorCountry.com.
Grier’s suspension was announced on October 12 and the redshirt freshman quarterback quickly sought representation through Morgan & Morgan as well as Clay Townsend — a graduate of the University of Florida’s Levin College of Law — to help him through the appeal process.
Will Grier is facing a 12-month ban from intercollegiate sports for his positive test, a suspension that would keep him off the field for the remainder of this season as well as the first six games of the 2016 season.
The NCAA performs year-round testing for student-athletes and the nature of the testing is done in a way to make it unpredictable and hard for an individual to cheat. Each test is done with little or no advance warning.
Upon testing positive, the athlete has 45 days to file documents that will be used in the appeals process. Hiring outside counsel, which Grier did, typically sets back the process as the athlete and their representation gather all of the necessary paperwork and documentation needed to argue their appeal to the NCAA committee.
Sources told Gator Country that the University of Florida, Jim McElwain, Jeremy Foley and the UAA have been behind Grier since the beginning of this process and continue to support him throughout the appeals process.
Athletes can appeal a suspension on two grounds; they can question how the test sample was collected or appeal based on knowledge grounds, stating that the athlete didn’t know that what he was taking was banned or contained a banned substance in it.
In October, a somber Grier admitted to taking a supplement. That takes the first argument off the table and Grier’s approach will be on knowledge grounds. This means that Grier will need to show that he did not know nor did he have a reasonable expectation of knowing that somebody else was giving him the banned substance, or that a school official incorrectly told him it was acceptable.
Grier will argue that he was given information that the supplement he took was indeed cleared by the NCAA and hope to have his suspension mitigated, enabling him to play at the beginning of the 2016 season. His attorneys have hired experts to help aid them in proving that Grier had no knowledge that the supplement he took contained a banned substance. Additionally, Grier and his representation will argue that the policy that the NCAA holds student-athletes — which is congruent to the standard that Florida adopts — to is too harsh.