Alabama placed an assistant strength and conditioning coach on administrative leave for lending money to suspended defensive back Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, The Tuscaloosa News reported Thursday.
Clinton-Dix was suspended indefinitely by the coach Nick Saban on Wednesday for violating unspecified team rules, but no other details were released.
The Tuscaloosa News, citing unidentified sources, reported that Corey Harris was put on administrative leave. The newspaper said that while the Alabama compliance office was looking into the loan of less than $500 that Harris made to Clinton-Dix, it found that Harris also had a connection to a sports agent. The loan could violate NCAA rules about student-athletes receiving extra benefits.
Alabama athletic department spokesman Doug Walker said he could not comment on personnel matters.
Saban took the same stance Wednesday when he announced he was suspending Clinton-Dix, one of the top-ranked Crimson Tide’s top defensive players.
“I want to be consistent,” Saban said after Wednesday’s practice. “When guys get suspended, I never, ever say what it’s for. So I’m not going there. So don’t ask me. It’s the way it always happens. Every guy. If they do right, they wouldn’t be getting suspended. I don’t know for how long this will be, so don’t ask me that either.”
Clinton-Dix is second on the team with 24 tackles and is a projected first-round NFL draft pick.
He is Alabama’s fourth suspension since the start of camp, joining linebacker Trey DePriest, Smith and tight end Malcolm Faciane.
Ole Miss controversy: A university professor said a group of Ole Miss students, including football players, disrupted a production of a campus play with “hate speech” on Tuesday night.
Michael Barnett, the assistant theater chair, said several students in the play told him that audience members were disruptive and used “derogatory terms” for homosexuals during a production of “The Laramie Project” on campus.
Ole Miss coach Hugh Freeze confirmed that football players were in the crowd. Barnett said a group of players apologized after the play.
“Several of the students said they did not feel the apology was genuine,” Barnett said. “They seemed to feel that (the football players) didn’t realize what it was that they were apologizing for.”
Ole Miss president Dan Jones and athletic director Ross Bjork released a joint statement on Thursday afternoon saying “we strongly condemn the behavior exhibited Tuesday night.”
The statement says that the incident included freshman athletes from several sports, and it was “clear that some students badly misrepresented the culture of this university.”
“As a member of the Ole Miss family, each of us has a responsibility to be accountable for our actions, and these individuals will be held accountable,” the statement said. “Our investigation will determine the degree to which any and all students were involved.”
Etc.: South Carolina All-America defensive end Jadeveon Clowney did not practice because of bruised ribs but is expected to play against Kentucky on Saturday night. … Jennifer Wiley Thompson, a former North Carolina tutor who worked with Tar Heels football players, was charged with violating the state’s sports agent laws. A grand jury indicted Thompson with four counts of allegedly providing benefits to former UNC player Greg Little to help Georgia-based agent Terry Watson to sign Little. … Connecticut suspended offensive lineman Tyler Bullock following his arrest on a charge of driving under the influence.