Thomas is not the first UF football player to successfully appeal a positive drug test. Cornerback Lito Sheppard and center David Jorgensen won appeals before the 2001 season, claiming they had inhaled second-hand smoke at a party.
Urban Meyer is something else.
GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- Suspended defensive tackle Marcus Thomas has been reinstated and will play Saturday when No. 5 Florida hosts ninth-ranked LSU.
"I think he's a very good football player," Meyer said. "He's a good chemistry guy on the team. He's invested a lot into this program. Obviously, having him in here is going to help, but we also played pretty good without him. It's important. Is it the catchall? Absolutely not. We proved that the last couple weeks."
Florida fans said, "Why would we delay the results, and lose the anchor of our line for the critical last half of the season, with games against LSU, Auburn, and SEC East rival Georgia. If we had known the results, we'd have bitten the bullet and suspended Thomas immediately so he could be back for that critcal run of games.
(Trying to maintain the Gator theme, the Bong-Gun used by Thomas )
Well, now you know why. Meyer suspended Thomas after the UT game, and an appeal was immediately filed on the grounds that the University of Florida doesn't understand proper testing procedure, and retested Thomas too soon after the first test. That appeal was granted today, and Thomas will be available for the LSU game Saturday, after missing games 1, 4, and 5 (against Southern Miss, Kentucky and a suspect Bama team). Never mind that it's almost impossible for a person to erroneously test positive again more than a month after a single use, which was the grounds for Thomas' appeal. Never mind that Thomas was busted again last Sunday, for driving with a suspended license. Interestingly, the line of the UF-LSU game moved sharply from favoring LSU to favoring Florida in the 24 hours prior to Thursday's decision to reinstate Thomas by the "independent committee" at UF. Of course, that may have been due to the fact that Thomas was spotted on the practice field earlier in the week, apparently in violation of Meyer's policy of not allowing suspended players to take part in any team activities. Maybe Urban just had a good feeling about the decision and decided to suspend his own rule.
(Meyer and Thomas pictured above, "Coach has got you covered")
Whatever the case, when a player has two positive drug tests before the season, gets busted for driving without a license during the season, and ends up with a patchwork of suspensions that craftily avoids the most critical conference games on the schedule... All I can say is "Welcome to the SEC Coach Meyer".