CFL’s Ottawa Redblacks stand by former Saint Francis receiver Seth Coate after surprising suspension

Seth Coate breaks away from a defender while playing for Saint Francis in 2016. (File photo by news-sentinel.com)

The Canadian Football League’s Ottawa Redblacks are maintaining their faith in former University of Saint Francis receiver Seth Coate after Coate was surprisingly suspended last week for testing positive for a banned substance.

Coate told the Ottawa Sun in a released statement the positive test likely came from a supplement he took earlier in the year when he assumed his football career had ended.

Coate is suspended for two games per league and player association policy regarding a first positive test. The league said he tested positive for SARM LGD-4033 metabolite.

“Needless to say, I feel terrible for having put myself and my team in a difficult position and for that I sincerely apologize,” Coate said in his statement. “I’m very proud to be part of this organization and would never intentionally do anything to jeopardize that.”

When contacted by News-Sentinel.com, Coate said he would not comment further on the issue but he appreciates the Redblacks sticking by him.

Coate, a Homestead High School alum, finished his college career after helping Saint Francis to the 2016 NAIA national title. He set single-season records for receiving yards (1,693) and receiving touchdowns (25) and was named Most Outstanding Offensive Player in the 2016 NAIA title game. He spent 2017 and the early part of 2018 working outside of football.

After participating in a Pro Day at Ball State with former Saint Francis quarterback Nick Ferrer last spring, Coate was invited to a tryout with the Redblacks and signed with them in May.

The team issued an official statement last week in support of Coate. The statement read:

“We were recently informed that Redblacks practice roster player Seth Coate tested positive for a banned substance. We understand that this is likely the result of an over-the-counter supplement taken by the player before he was a member of the club. While we accept the penalty imposed by the CFL, we know the kind of person and player we have in Seth Coate and the Redblacks organization stands firm in its support for him.”

Redblacks coach Rick Campbell also expressed support for Coate.

“He’s a good kid and we like him,” Campbell told the Ottawa Sun. “We think he’s got a future. He’s a good dude and we’re looking forward to having him around here.”

Coate has spent the season on the Redblacks practice squad and has not appeared in a regular season game.

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