Will Grier, Florida QB, Suspended for Violation of NCAA Rules

Matt Fitzgerald@@MattFitz_geraldCorrespondent IIIOctober 12, 2015

Florida quarterback Will Grier (7) warms up before an NCAA college football game against Mississippi Saturday, Oct. 3, 2015, in Gainesville, Fla. (AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack)
Phelan M. Ebenhack/Associated Press

Florida Gators quarterback Will Grier has been suspended for a violation of NCAA rules.

Mike Huguenin of GridironNow.com first reported the news Monday, while Edgar Thompson of the Orlando Sentinel reported the ban will last for one calendar year.

"I took an over-the-counter supplement that had something in it," Grier said, per Scott Carter of GatorZone.com. "I did not check with the medical staff before taking it."

The quarterback apologized, per Jon Solomon of CBS Sports, saying, "I really hope people can learn from my mistake. I'm really sorry to everyone."

Head coach Jim McElwain commented on the ban, saying, "We as a university will appeal this, and we support Will and his family," per OnlyGators.com.

"It was an honest mistake that can be prevented by talking to our medical staff," McElwain added, per OnlyGators.com. "This is a mistake we'll learn from."

Grier fought past Treon Harris on the depth chart and has helped guide Florida to a 6-0 start and a No. 8 ranking in the most recent Associated Press poll. The redshirt freshman has thrown for 1,204 yards and 10 touchdowns to just three interceptions.

ESPN CollegeFootball put into context how well he's been playing:

ESPN CollegeFootball @ESPNCFB

Will Grier's completion percentage, pass yards per game, and TD-Interception ratio was best by a Gator since 2009. http://t.co/DAci9Mttc6

Not only does Grier's future in Gainesville come into question, but a magnificent turnaround by McElwain is now in jeopardy. This unfortunate development also comes ahead of Florida's toughest road game of the year, a showdown with SEC rival LSU this Saturday.

It's up to Harris to take the reins for Grier and run the offense efficiently. He has shown a knack for big plays more so than Grier, with a career average of 9.3 yards per pass attempt, but in his most extended action last season, he completed only 49.6 percent of his passes.

Although Harris has flashed improved accuracy this year (19-of-27 passing for 269 yards and two TDs), he was also suspended for the Tennessee game on September 26. That was the consequence of failing a drug test, according to ESPN's Brett McMurphy.

The hope is Harris can show marked improvement as a sophomore. Should anything happen to him, the Gators will be forced to turn to a completely unproven commodity at the game's most important position.