Swinney says there is nothing new to report on Lawrence’s availability for the CFP Title Game
Dabo Swinney does not know anything new in the suspension case for Clemson defensive tackle Dexter Lawrence, who was suspended by the NCAA prior to the second-ranked Tigers’ win over No. 3 Notre Dame in the Cotton Bowl Classic this past Saturday.
Lawrence, along with freshman tight end Braden Galloway and reserve offensive lineman Zach Giella, tested positive for a banned substance by the NCAA on Dec. 20. The banned substance was Ostarine, a performance enhancing drug.
The NCAA upheld its suspensions last Thursday night after the B-sample tests came back positive as well. Now the question is if Lawrence and the others will be able to appeal the suspension and have it overturned before Clemson plays Alabama next Monday in the College Football Playoff National Championship Game.
Clemson must first prove there was no wrong doing by the players in the first place and find the source of where the drug came from.
“I have not learned anything since Thursday,” Swinney said Monday during the CFP National Championship Game teleconference. “Obviously, we played and traveled all day yesterday, but Dan Radakovich is leading that front. I know that they will be having some meetings and stuff today and trying to figure out what the moving forward process is going to look like.
“We don’t have a lot of time for this game. I am hopeful that maybe something positive will come out. But I don’t know anything at all.”
The Tigers did fine without Lawrence against Notre Dame in the semifinals. They sacked quarterback Ian Book six times, while limiting the Irish to 88 rushing yards and 248 yards overall. However, Alabama is a different beast offensively than Notre Dame and the Tigers would love to have its 6-foot-5, 350-pound All-American taking up space in the middle of their defensive line.
However, Swinney made it sound on Monday as if the appeal process will likely not to be completed before next week’s title game in Santa Clara, Calif.
“Beyond this game there will be an appeal process that our players for sure will want to battle because there are consequences for next year,” he said. “Dexter obviously has the ability to go pro, but Zach and Braden … Zach has a year left and Braden is just going to be a sophomore.
“There is a longer runway for dealing with that and the process that is in place and what they all have to do. I don’t know anything at all, as far as relevant to this game.”