It’s impossible to argue that the Clemson football team did absolutely anything but demolish and dominate the team from Alabama on the road to another national championship, their second in three years.
This is a Clemson football program that has been completely and totally transformed from top to bottom over the last decade or so, led by one of the best and brightest young coaches in all of college football and a program that many around the United States considered to be a model (just like Alabama) to be followed as closely as possible.
At the same time, the Clemson football team is not without scandal and there are plenty of people wondering just how many of their top-tier student athletes may have been ineligible to play in that title game if they had been busted using performance-enhancing drugs the way that some of their teammates had been.
At least three different players – defensive player Dexter Lawrence and to offensive players named Braden Galloway and Zach Giella – had tested positive for performance-enhancing drugs in the lead up to the National Championship, and all three of them were anticipating a last-minute appeal process that would have allowed them to play in this game.
The athletic director for Clemson, however, swooped right in and told the athletes – as well as the nation – that there was no way he was going to allow these three to participate in the game (no matter how important they might have been to the Clemson football program’s success) after they had been found to be doping.
It isn’t at all uncommon for an athletic director to take this kind of approach, particularly since it is their job in their responsibility to protect the integrity of their athletic department and the programs in general – even if that means throwing a couple of rogue student athletes under the bus in one of the biggest moments in program history.
What is uncommon, however, is that the athletic director took to the press to make these statements at the same time that the head coach of the Clemson program was claiming – alongside the three players – that they had done absolutely nothing wrong and that haircare products and “flow tanks” were responsible for the positive tests.
Dabo Swinney, the head coach at Clemson, has gone on record as stating that the performance-enhancing drugs all three of these players tested positive for (Ostarine) is so prevalent in the environment that is likely these three athletes warranty using PED’s at all, but were instead the victims of false positives.
The coach went on to say that the elements of this controlled substance found in the urine of these three athletes could have been found in any of his athletes, unintentionally putting the entirety of the program at risk and opening up the Clemson football team to a lot of outside scrutiny. There are now some, particularly in the national media, that believe more Clemson football players were doping then just the ones that ended up getting caught, even if they don’t have any way to prove it.
At the end of the day, the three suspended players probably aren’t going to be all that negatively impacted by this suspension and missing out on the National Championship anyway. Lawrence is expected to be a first-round draft pick and will be leaving the Clemson program, and both other players are expected to turn before committing to the draft the following season. Both of them are likely to contribute to a powerhouse Clemson program poised to make another title run this year