Suspended Florida Gators quarterback Will Grier will not practice with the team as they prepare for the Buffalo Wild Wings Citrus Bowl. Grier has not practiced with the team since he was suspended for violating the NCAA’s policy of performance enhancing drugs.
“He won’t [practice]. He can’t go to the bowl site anyway,” Jim McElwain said. “But he’ll join us back up in, what is it, Jan. 5. I think that’s the first day we’re going, so he’ll be ready to roll.”
“It’s tough on everybody. The poor guy, walking on campus ain’t easy,” said McElwain. “I just feel sick about it. Yeah, it’s not easy, and yet when you learn things when they don’t go well they really make you stronger.”
Grier came in as a backup in Florida’s first game but started the second week against ECU. Although Jim McElwain never came out and said it, Grier obviously had won the starting quarterback competition, starting every game after the season opener. The redshirt freshman completed 65% of his pass attempts for 10 touchdowns and just three interceptions.
Grier’s suspension runs through the first six games of next season (UMASS, Kentucky, North Texas, at Tennessee, at Vanderbilt, LSU). He would be eligible to return to the playing field on October 15, when Florida hosts Missouri.
Despite not doing so, Grier has been able to practice with the team since his suspension started. McElwain has defended Grier publically, saying he has a lot going on outside of football. Grier will return to the team and plans to go through all of the offseason conditioning and practice with them following the bowl game.
“Look, you can sit and cry over it or you can move forward and make the best of it,” McElwain said. “That’s one thing I think he’s doing.”