• 63°

NCAA confirms suspension of Clemson star DT Dexter Lawrence

By RALPH RUSSO, AP College Football Writer
DALLAS (AP) — Clemson defensive tackle Dexter Lawrence will not play against No. 3 Notre Dame in the Cotton Bowl after the NCAA confirmed a suspension Thursday for a failed test for performance-enhancing drugs, possibly ending the talented junior’s college career.
Lawrence is one of three Clemson players who tested positive for ostarine, a substance used to treat osteoporosis that can act like an anabolic steroid. The usual NCAA suspension for a failed PED test is one calendar year.
Earlier Thursday, Lawrence participated in No. 2 Clemson’s College Football Playoff media day session at AT&T Stadium and said he has no idea what may have led to the failed test. Lawrence was holding out hope additional testing by the NCAA would lead to the suspension being lifted.
But in a statement, Clemson athletic director Dan Radakovich says the NCAA confirmed the suspensions of Lawrence and two reserves.
“The athletic department will have no further comment on the matter this evening as it considers all of our options, including appeals,” Radakovich said.
Media day for both CFP semifinals were held simultaneously with No. 1 Alabama and No. 4 Oklahoma meeting with reporters at the Orange Bowl in South Florida. Lawrence’s status has been the lead story going into Saturday’s games.
Clemson coach Dabo Swinney announced earlier in the week the school had been notified by the NCAA about the failed tests by Lawrence, reserve offensive tackle Zach Giella and freshman tight end Braden Galloway.
Lawrence’s appearance at the home of the Dallas Cowboys in Arlington, Texas, on Thursday morning was something of a surprise. Like the most of the other starters, he had a small table set up for him with a name card. He sat and answered questions for most of the 45-minute session, but the crowd of reporters thinned after about 20 minutes.
Lawrence, a likely first-round draft pick if he enters the 2019 draft, said he would never even think about purposely taking something like that.
“I’m not the type of guy to do a selfish act like that, I have too much pride,” Lawrence said. “I love this team and my family too much to even think about putting a substance like that in my body. I don’t know where it came from. I don’t know how it got there.”
Lawrence has been attending practice and doing some drills, but not taking repetitions with starters. He has 7 1/2 tackles for loss this season and is one of the best run defenders in the country.
“I want to say right now I’m at peace. I know that I have no control on what the ‘B’ sample result will be,” Lawrence said. “I’m just here to support my teammates and just try to be the leader and starter I’ve been all year.”
Alabama also had three players suspended for its game, but did not provide details as to why. Alabama coach Nick Saban said starting left guard Deonte Brown, tight end Kedrick James and offensive lineman Elliot Baker committed an NCAA violation and would not play again this season. None of the players made the trip to Miami with the team.
The news in South Florida was Oklahoma quarterback Kyler Murray being in attendance at media. The Heisman Trophy winner missed media availability on Wednesday because he was not feeling well, though he did practice.
Murray was coughing and sniffling a bit, but said there was no doubt he would play Saturday.
Backup quarterbacks drew attention at both semifinal sites.
Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly confirmed that Brandon Wimbush has taken the steps necessary to transfer. The quarterback’s name is in the transfer database, but no final decision has been made.
Wimbush declined to talk about what he has told Kelly about his future, but did acknowledge he has decisions to make about his future after the season. Wimbush would be a graduate transfer and eligible to play immediately next season.
“We’re a couple days away from this game and I don’t want anything to be a distraction,” said Wimbush, who started the first three games of the season before losing the job to Ian Book. “I’m excited for what’s to come and what lies ahead and I have a year of eligibility left. I’m excited to fulfil that.”
Alabama’s Jalen Hurts, the Tide’s starter for the last two seasons before Tua Tagovailoa won the job this year. Hurts could also be a graduate transfer with immediate eligibility.
“My story’s still unfolding. Just have to see what’s up next,” Hurts said.
___
AP Sports Writers Stephen Hawkins in Arlington, Texas, and Tim Reynolds in Miami Gardens, Florida, contributed to this report.
___
More AP college football: https://apnews.com/Collegefootball and https://twitter.com/AP_Top25

Comments

Crime

Blotter: Rockwell man arrested on felony drug, breaking and entering charges

Local

Rep. Amber Baker discusses legislative session during Rowan Democrats breakfast meeting

Local

Thousands of locals, out-of-towners gather for a groovy time at annual Hippie Fest

News

N.C. Zoo ready for expansion if lawmakers OK funding

Education

RSS budgeting for tens of millions in federal COVID-19 relief funding

East Spencer

‘Back in full swing’ for the spring: East Spencer community gathers for food, fun and fellowship at Spring Fest

Local

Rowan native Lingle among those honored with NC Military Veterans Hall of Fame induction

Business

Former pro baseball player, Tar Heel standout Russ Adams finds new career with Trident Insured

Education

Profoundly gifted: Salisbury boy finishing high school, associates degree at 12

Local

Cheerwine Festival will stick to Main Street, stay away from new park in September

Lifestyle

Celebrating Rowan County’s early cabinetmakers

Education

Service Above Self announces youth challenge winners

Business

Economic Development Commission creates search tool for people seeking Rowan County jobs

Columns

Amy-Lynn Albertson: Arts and Ag Farm Tour set for June 5

High School

High school baseball: Mustangs top Falcons on strength of hurlers

Business

Biz Roundup: Application process now open for Rowan Chamber’s 29th Leadership Rowan class

Sports

Keith Mitchell leads McIlroy, Woodland by 2 at Quail Hollow

Nation/World

States scale back vaccine orders as interest in shots wanes

Nation/World

Major US pipeline halts operations after ransomware attack

News

NC budget dance slowed as GOP leaders differ on bottom line

News

Judge limits footage that family can see of deputy shooting

Coronavirus

People receiving first dose of COVID-19 vaccine grows by less than 1%

Education

Rowan-Salisbury Schools brings Skills Rowan competition back to its roots

Business

Weak jobs report spurs questions about big fed spending