College football players don’t get paid, but they do get room, board, tuition, fees, and (most recently) snacks.
Clemson players also may be getting something else — and it ain’t hamberders.
In a stunning revelation from Clemson coach Dabo Swinney, three players who tested positive for ostarine before the December 29 semifinal win over Notre Dame may have gotten the banned substance from . . . Clemson.
“I mean, there’s a chance that it could come from anything,” Swinney said, via the Charleston Post & Courier, regarding the possibility that the school gave the substance to the players, who were suspended for the 2018 playoffs and all of the 2019 season. “They’re going to test everything and look at everything. And that’s the problem. As you really look at this stuff, it could be a contaminant that came from anything, that was something that was cleared and not a problem, and all of a sudden, it becomes there was something.”
Swinney and Clemson also may be setting up a defense based on the notion that the players were given an approved supplement that was inadvertently tainted with a banned PED.
“You can research articles, there are a lot of times when things are cleared and end up having a contaminant in it because of where it was processed, the factory it came from, whether there were other things there,” Swinney said. “So there’s a lot of that. There’s a case out there that there was a contaminant at a testing lab. There are lots of different things and the legal people are involved in that.”
There are indeed a lot of different things that can happen, including the most obvious thing: A deliberate attempt to cheat that resulted in the potential cheater being caught.
But if Clemson goes all in with the “our NCAA-approved supplement was spiked” defense (which is still better than “it was me . . . no, wait, it wasn’t me”), Clemson could be admitting that far more than three guys had ostarine in their systems — which could at some point result in Dabo dropping that trophy into a box and sending it to Tuscaloosa, attention Nick Saban.