Where do we go from here? On Wednesday, Alabama coach Nick Saban suspended starting safety Ha Ha Clinton-Dix indefinitely for violating team rules. Saban refused to go into specifics.
One day later, it emerged that assistant strength and conditioning coach Corey Harris had been placed on administrative leave. Harris reportedly loaned Clinton-Dix money. The Alabama player produced records that confirmed repayment but the loan was still an NCAA violation. During the investigation, officials also discovered Harris had connections to a representative of a sports agent.
The loan – an amount less than $500 – apparently came about after Clinton-Dix’s car was broken into back in June. Several items – including money – were taken. A copy of the police report can be found here.
How long will Clinton-Dix be out? What does an assistant coach’s connections to an agent mean for Alabama? Here are some reactions and predictions from around the Internet.
- Ten Alabama players have been suspended in the past eight months – five since August.
- Corey Harris, the man accused of loaning Clinton-Dix money, coached former Alabama star Dee Milliner in high school.
- Michael Casagrande: “Suspensions for similar violations typically span a few games.”
- Jeremy Fowler: “Alabama proposed a one-to-three-game suspension in the report it submitted to the NCAA, the source said.”
Alex Scarborough of ESPN: “Clinton-Dix is expected to miss Saturday’s game against Georgia State but should be back with the team within the month, according to a source.”
- Dan Wetzel of Yahoo! Sports. Four game suspension “at most”. And what about the loan from assistant strength and conditioning coach Corey Harris? ”(T)his could be the watershed moment when the NCAA just stops even pretending to try.”
- Source speaking to the Sporting News: ”It is quite clear neither the player nor the coach had intent to do wrong or circumvent NCAA guidelines.”
Ohio University professor and NCAA compliance expert Dr. David Ridpath: “Depending on exactly what the coach’s level of involvement was with an agent and whether he had any arrangements like this with other players, it likely won’t impact Alabama as a program.”
- Kevin Scarbinsky: “At what point do these stories become an indication that Alabama, despite its well-known education program on the subject, may have an agent problem?”
Clinton-Dix is second on the team with 24 tackles. After playing Georgia State tomorrow, the Crimson Tide then face Kentucky, Arkansas and Tennessee. That’s all a prelude to the showdown with LSU November 9th.