After yesterday's practice, Nick Saban announced that standout safety Ha'Sean "HaHa" Clinton-Dix was suspended indefinitely. No reason given, just "violation of team rules," as with many of the other nine Bama players suspended over the past eight months. Now we've got a pretty good clue: Alabama has placed an assistant strength coach on administrative leave for providing a "short-term loan" to Clinton-Dix.
That's per the Tuscaloosa News, which also reports that assistant strength and conditioning coach Corey Harris has "a connection to an associate of a sports agent." Clinton-Dix has at least three degrees of separation from the guy he's not supposed to talk to—athletes are getting smarter about this.
According to the News, Harris made a loan under $500 to Clinton-Dix sometime over the summer. Clinton-Dix was able to show bank records backing up his claim that he repaid Harris. Which is still an NCAA violation, and not merely a "violation of team rules." The only reason teams suspend good players is fear of having to forfeit wins.
This is also interesting:
Timing of Alabama payment thing is interesting. Next month, 60 Minutes Sports is doing feature on Alabama Strength And Conditioning program
— bkoo (@bkoo) October 3, 2013
This is likely more of the same scheme revealed in a report by Yahoo last month, that implicated, among others, former Alabama tackle D.J. Fluker. Agents take care of players in fairly innocuous ways—pay their cell phone bills, offer no-interest loans, chip in for rent for family members—in the hopes of getting the inside edge on signing them when they go pro. Clinton-Dix is projected as a first-round pick in next year's draft.