When Florida lines up against Ohio State for the national championship in a few days, there will be one gaping hole on the defensive line, a gap filled in the past by DT Marcus Thomas. Thomas, who might be one of the top players in the NFL draft fell out of favor with Coach Urban Meyers. Reason: too many positive drug tests. Story here in the Orlando Sentinal.
JACKSONVILLE -- Six weeks after parting ways with the Florida football program, former Gators defensive tackle Marcus Thomas said Coach Urban Meyer created an atmosphere at Florida that he couldn't handle.
At lunch with a group on Monday, Thomas recalled how his conversations with Meyer used to go.
"He'd say, 'I'm going to destroy you to the [pro] scouts,' " Thomas told the table.
"How often would he give you that?" Thomas' agent, Rich Burnoski, asked.
"All the time," Thomas said. "On a regular basis."
The reason behind Meyer's petulance with his All-American DT: he tested positive for GHB.
Meyer played little active role in the decisions about Thomas' punishments for repeated positive drug tests. The results of those tests, UF officials say, left no choice but for his dismissal...
Thomas played in five games before being dismissed. He had 26 tackles, including 5.5 for loss, and was third on the team with four sacks. He was suspended for the opener against Southern Miss, played against UCF and Tennessee, then was suspended again for two games, wins over Kentucky on Sept. 23 and Alabama on Sept. 30.
In his comments Monday, Thomas referred to the stipulations that accompanied his reinstatement Oct. 5, two days before the Gators beat LSU at Florida Field. The stipulations included attendance in a rehabilitation program, limited out-of-town travel and a new roommate -- senior wide receiver Jemalle Cornelius.
But UF sources, speaking on the condition of anonymity because federal law prevents the release of specific information about students, say Thomas failed another drug test during the season -- this one for Gamma Hydroxy Butyrate, or GHB -- and that his dismissal was permanent.
GHB usually is identified as a "date rape" drug, but it also is alleged to have similar effects to anabolic steroids. GHB is listed as a banned drug in UF's University Athletic Association Substance Abuse Program Policy.
GHB is not really a steroid, it's a analog of GABA (a neurotransmitter). In this case, the drug found in the urine of a talented player, will keep him from participating in the biggest game of his career.