After being “shocked” when notified of his positive test, Bledsoe brought the powder and vitamins he had consumed to OU athletic trainer Scott Anderson for review. Anderson approved the powder because no banned substances were listed. The clomiphene was later detected in a lab test.
Had Bledsoe brought the powder to Anderson for review before consuming it, then he would’ve had grounds for appeal, the NCAA’s attorney argued.
Whether the NCAA is a state actor is also at the heart of the case. The NCAA argues it is not, and that playing college football isn’t a constitutionally protected liberty. Tabor, citing precedent in past cases, argued that the NCAA is a state actor.
After hearing the oral arguments Monday, Judge Virgin took the case under advisement and said he will, by the end of the week, issue his ruling on the summary judgment or send the case to trial.
Bledsoe’s future eligibility with the Sooners is dependent on the outcome of the case.
The positive drug test came with a one-year suspension and a lost year of eligibility — effectively a two-year loss of eligibility for Bledsoe, who’s listed as a junior but participated in OU’s Senior Day because of the uncertainty surrounding his status.
Bledsoe has started all 13 games this season for OU after missing parts of his freshman and sophomore seasons because of the suspension. Oklahoma’s College Football Playoff game against Alabama on Dec. 29 could be his last in a Sooner uniform.
“Even if the court doesn’t dispose of the case in our favor at summary judgment, I feel confident in trial,” Tabor said. “I think as our briefs lay out quite clear, the NCAA has some very clear exceptions that apply here, and they breached those in Amani’s appeal.”