Alabama suspended sophomore starting left guard Deonte Brown and two reserves for Saturday’s College Football Playoff semifinal game against Oklahoma, the school announced Monday night.
In a news release, coach Nick Saban cited “a violation of team rules and policies” as the reason for the suspensions of Brown, junior offensive lineman Elliot Baker and sophomore tight end Kedrick James for the Orange Bowl matchup.
Brown has made five starts out of 12 games played. James has seen action in five games while Baker hasn’t played at all.
Senior guard Lester Cotton is expected to return to a starting role. He lost his starting gig to Brown earlier this season.
—Three Clemson players — defensive lineman Dexter Lawrence, offensive lineman Zach Giella and tight end Braden Galloway — failed NCAA drug tests last week and could miss the Tigers’ College Football Playoff semifinal matchup against Notre Dame on Saturday.
TigerIllustrated.com reported coach Dabo Swinney said “trace” amounts of the banned substance Ostarine were found in the positive drug tests, but the coach noted he is holding out hope of a successful appeal ahead of Saturday’s contest. Ostarine, also known by its generic name enobosarm, is a muscle builder that falls into a class of drugs called Selective Androgen Receptor Modulators (SARMs). The drug, banned by the World Anti-Doping Agency in 2008, has been shown to produce similar results to anabolic steroids without the many dangerous side effects.
Swinney said he believes the players did not knowingly ingest Ostarine and told reporters that all three players “thought it was a joke” when Swinney notified them of the failed tests.
—Alabama quarterback Tua Tagovailoa stepped off the plane in Miami with no signs of an issue with his injured left ankle. The injury occurred Dec. 1 during the SEC championship game against Georgia, and he has been rehabbing the ankle diligently.
The next task is seeing how close to 100 percent the Heisman Trophy runner-up will be when the top-seeded Crimson Tide play fourth-seeded Oklahoma in the Orange Bowl. He underwent surgery earlier this month and said he tested his mobility on Sunday and was encouraged by the results.
“At this point, we’re doing a lot better,” Tagovailoa told reporters. “I got to move (Sunday). I got to get a feel of it before we come out with practice. It feels good.”
—Syracuse standout junior defensive end Alton Robinson is one of two starters who will miss Friday’s Camping World Bowl against West Virginia, the school announced.
Robinson and junior nose tackle McKinley Williams will miss the contest for “personal reasons,” according to the school. Neither player traveled with the team to Orlando, Fla., on Monday. Robinson has 17 tackles for loss, including 10 sacks, and three forced fumbles this season. Williams has 17 tackles (three for loss) and one forced fumble.
No. 20 Syracuse is 9-3 entering the contest against the No. 16 Mountaineers (8-3). West Virginia quarterback Will Grier, who threw for 3,864 yards and 37 touchdowns, announced earlier this month he will skip the game to prepare for the NFL draft.
—Wake Forest receiver Greg Dortch announced he is bypassing his final two seasons of eligibility to enter the 2019 NFL Draft.
Dortch, a third-year sophomore, scored 17 touchdowns in 20 career games for the Demon Deacons. He caught 89 passes for 1,078 yards and eight touchdowns this season. The yardage is second most in Wake Forest history.
“I will always remember my time at Wake Forest and will always be grateful for the relationships I have created during my time here,” Dortch said in statement on his Twitter account. .”.. It has always been a dream of mine to play in the NFL and I am ready to take the next step toward that goal. I will be entering my name in the 2019 NFL Draft and I am very excited to get to work.”
—Field Level Media