Florida Gators quarterback Will Grier has been suspended for one year for violating NCAA rules, coach Jim McElwain announced Monday.
Grier tested positive for a performance-enhancing substance that was found in an over-the-counter supplement, McElwain said. The positive test carries an automatic suspension of one calendar year from the NCAA, meaning Grier would not be eligible to return until Florida's seventh game of the 2016 season. He would have redshirt sophomore status at that time, a Florida spokesperson said.
McElwain said the school will appeal the suspension.
"I took an over-the-counter supplement that had something in it," a tearful Grier said during a Monday news conference. "I did not check with the medical staff before taking it. I hope that people can learn from this, learn from my mistake. I'm really sorry to everyone, just really sorry."
McElwain said he was made aware of Grier's failed test on Sunday. He wanted to give Grier the chance to address his team during Monday's team meeting before speaking publicly about the suspension. McElwain said players embraced Grier and appreciated his honesty with them. Grier will continue to practice with the team, the coach said.
McElwain expressed remorse for Grier's situation, but he reiterated how important it is for student-athletes to be careful about taking any sort of supplements not provided by the team.
"It's something he feels horrible about," McElwain said. "It's an honest mistake, and yet can be prevented by checking with our medical staff. This is a mistake we'll learn from.
"Everybody knows the policy, you police yourself. You're no different. You either do or you don't. ... Before you even take cough medicine, you've got to check with the medical staff to allow you to be able to [take it]."