Monday's football: Failed drug tests hit 3 Clemson players

Associated Press
Dexter Lawrence is one of three Clemson players who tested positive for ostarine, which is used to treat osteoporosis but can also like an anabolic steroid.

Arlington, Texas — Clemson coach Dabo Swinney says star defensive tackle Dexter Lawrence and two other players failed NCAA tests for performance enhancing drugs and might not play in the Cotton Bowl against No. 3 Notre Dame.

Swinney said at a news conference Monday at AT&T Stadium that the NCAA informed Clemson trace amounts of ostarine were found in samples given by Lawrence, reserve offensive tackle Zach Giella and freshman tight end Braden Galloway. Ostarine, also known as enobosarm, is used to treat osteoporosis, but can also act like an anabolic steroid.

Swinney said the players told him they had not intentionally taken the substance. Clemson is awaiting results of a second sample from each player. The NCAA ban for failing a PED test is one calendar year.

Dabo Swinney likes to keep the mood around Clemson’s football program light, with lots of revelry.

It’s the Dabo Way. And it seems to be working. Top recruits keep arriving each year, assistants don’t want to leave and the Tigers keep winning.

Swinney, in his 10th year at Clemson, like most coaches is a stickler for hard work. But he also is keen on celebrating success. There are memorable locker room dance parties after victories. There was a stadium pizza party for fans following Clemson’s first trip to the College Football Playoff in 2015, and even a trip to an area amusement park this week amid preparations for its latest playoff run, which starts for the second ranked Tigers (13-0, CFP No. 2) against No. 3 Notre Dame (12-0, CFP No. 3).

“Coach Swinney calls it joy,” receiver Amari Rodgers said.

There’s been plenty of joy for the Tigers in the decade since Swinney, a little known receivers coach, earned the full-time job after the 2008 season without any experience as coach or coordinator.

Clemson has won five Atlantic Coast Conference titles (the last four in a row) under Swinney and the 2016 national championship.

And Swinney is ardent defender of his team’s right to happiness.

Last month, he angrily chided fans critical of a closer-than-expected 56-35 win over rival South Carolina.

“We’ve got people complaining,” Swinney said. “Give me a break. If 12-0 ain’t good enough, then it’s time to seek other places.”

It’s an atmosphere in which players and assistants feel welcome, and seek to stay.

Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson, who led the Tigers to that national title two years ago, said Swinney’s style creates loyalty, appreciation and respect.

New OSU posts for Meyer

Ohio State coach Urban Meyer will teach a class in the university’s business school and become an assistant athletic director after he retires following the Rose Bowl.

Meyer will co-teach “Leadership and Character” during the spring semester and be available to up to 198 students. Meyer’s teaching partner will be Army Lt. Col. Charles Buchanan, a senior lecturer at the business school who spent 15 years serving tours in Afghanistan, Iraq and Kosovo.

Extra points

Alabama suspended starting left guard Deonte Brown and two other players from the Orange Bowl for violating unspecified team rules.

Crimson Tide coach Nick Saban said in a statement that Brown, tight end Kedrick James and offensive lineman Elliot Baker didn’t make the trip to Miami.

Saban didn’t indicate the duration of the suspensions or whether they might extend to the national championship game if Alabama wins.

... Wake Forest receiver Greg Dortch says he is skipping his final two college seasons and entering the NFL draft.