CLEMSON — Braden Galloway and Zach Giella are still part of Clemson's football program, a university official confirmed to The Post and Courier this week, as they wait for the NCAA to rule on their appeals after both were suspended for failed drug tests.
The two players face a one-year suspension after testing positive for ostarine, a performance-enhancing drug (PED) banned by the NCAA, prior to the Tigers' appearance in the Cotton Bowl.
Galloway, a freshman tight end, and Giella, a redshirt junior offensive lineman, will be allowed to participate in team workouts and spring practices even if their suspensions are upheld and they are removed from competition for a year.
Fewer than 20 Clemson football players were tested and three, or about 15 percent, tested positive for the PED. Clemson has maintained it does not know how the ostarine got into the players' systems and has been investigating. But the university has not and will not test additional players of the 119-member 2018 squad, athletic department officials told The Post and Courier last week.
In Giella's case, if the suspension stands he would officially be out of eligibility based on the NCAA's language and the fact that he has already played in three seasons of competition as a student-athlete.
NCAA rules state that "the penalty for a positive test for a performance-enhancing drug is strict and automatic: student-athletes lose one full year of eligibility for the first offense (25 percent of their total eligibility) and are withheld from competition for 365 days from the date of the test."
But Galloway could potentially play in a bowl game next season. The suspension is a year from the date of the test and his calendar year would have started in mid-to-late December of 2018 before the Cotton Bowl.
If Galloway were to play in postseason games for the Tigers in 2019, under the new redshirt rule he would not burn an additional year of eligibility because he would have played in less than four games. However, he still loses a year for the suspension.
Under that scenario, Galloway could still have two years left to play beginning in 2020.
The two players, along with NFL-bound star defensive tackle Dexter Lawrence, each tested positive in two different samples for ostarine, a drug that falls under the NCAA's selective androgen receptor modulators category.
If the appeal is successful, Giella and Galloway will both be eligible to play immediately.
Giella has played at both center and offensive guard and has logged 180 career snaps in 20 games.
In his debut with the program, Galloway played in 12 games with five catches for 52 yards and a touchdown.
Clemson has about two weeks left to finalize its appeal.