University of Alabama assistant strength and conditioning coach Corey Harris has been placed on administrative leave for providing impermissible benefits to suspended football safety Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, The Tuscaloosa News has learned.
Harris made a short-term loan to Clinton-Dix in an amount less than $500, after Clinton-Dix's car was broken into on the night of June 25 or the morning of June 26. The Tuscaloosa News has obtained the police report filed by Clinton-Dix after the break-in, detailing the theft of money, an iPad, a backpack and sandals — both embroidered with Clinton-Dix's jersey number (No. 6) — stereo speaker sub-woofers, miscellaneous shirts and Nike Air Jordan shoes.
First off, of course he was driving a Dodge Charger. Secondly, it's hard not to freak out a bit about this news. Yes, it's a small amount. Yes, he paid it back, but this was clearly an impermissible benefit, and thus an NCAA violation. To take a guess at what HaHa could be facing let's look at Middle Tennessee, who had a player suspended for 4 games because he had accepted a $1,500 loan (H/T to Roscoe for pointing out this case). Couple factors to consider here, 1) HaHa's loan was smaller, but 2) it came from a staff member. I would think the suspension HaHa gets would be a 2 game minimum, with anything up to a 4 game suspension being unsurprising. Now, onto whether or not that staff member will come back to bite Bama...
"From the coach's perspective, it sounds like a mini John Blake at (North Carolina)," Infante said.
Blake, a former assistant coach at North Carolina, was accused of accepting cash from a sports agent and was given a three-year show-cause penalty from the NCAA.
Clinton-Dix's offense, according to Infante, will likely carry a significantly smaller penalty.
"From Clinton-Dix's perspective, even if the coach is deemed an agent, it is still not that serious of a violation," Infante said. "Marcell Dareus was in line for a four game suspension before mitigating circumstances and he was found to have received over $2,000 from an agent."
So, it sounds like (at least in the opinion of one expert) Bama will avoid penalty pretty much entirely, while the assistant coach could be slapped with a show-cause penalty, which would make him unemployable by any NCAA institution.
Collins had a chance to start alongside Clinton-Dix at strong safety this season, but ultimately lost the job to the more veteran option in Sunseri. Instead of sulking, Collins has continued to give everything he has to special teams. As starting cornerback Deion Belue put it, "The only thing you can expect from him is 110 percent."
"A killer mindset," Collins said of how he approaches special teams. "It's a dog eat dog world, I say to myself. I want to make any play possible, regardless of the fact of what I'm doing."
And that, in a nutshell, explains why Alabama is so good on a unit that's so often overlooked. All-Americans and five-star talents don't view special teams as a burden, but rather as an opportunity. When Collins shoots downfield and blows up return men like a heat-seeking missile, it draws as big a celebration as any from the sidelines.
This article raises some really good point. If Landon Collins had gone to literally any other school in the country, he'd be starting right now. Instead, he came to Bama, and instead of moping about not getting the respect he deserves, as many young stars would, he goes out and gives as much effort as anybody every time he is on the field. With HaHa out for the next few games, hopefully Landon will get an opportunity to shine.
"I don't care if we're getting beat by 40 or winning by 40, it doesn't matter," Saban said on his weekly radio show appearance. "We're going to play him because he deserves to play. He may be one of our five best players. If he is, we need to find a spot for him."
With center Ryan Kelly out for the next few weeks with a knee injury and junior Chad Lindsay serving as his replacement, Saban said right guard Anthony Steen is also capable of playing center.
"If there's a guard that's coming along that's a really good player, I'm not a guy that's going to sit here with a bad hand ... if we can make improvements on our team," Saban said.
Well, the Georgia State game just got a whole lot more interesting. Grant Hiil is a true freshman that was rated as a four star offensive lineman. If we move Steen to center, Lindsay would effectively be demoted to third string, Ryan Kelly will have lost his job, and we will have our fourth different offensive line since the start of fall camp. If it works, great. If not, hey, this game is about as unlose-able as the come. It's a super low-risk opportunity for an experiment to shore up one of the few remaining weak spots on this team.
If we end the year with a different OL and a largely different defensive backfield than what we started the year with. AND manage to win the national championship with those new units, it will easily be Saban's greatest coaching job, and may well cement him as the best ever.
Cade Foster explaining onside kicks