Tide to carry on while NCAA digs
Posted: Thursday, August 5, 2010 2:16 pm
By: By JOHN ZENOR, AP Sports Writer
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (AP) — Alabama’s Nick Saban didn’t have anything new on the NCAA investigation of Marcell Dareus, though his star defensive end will practice with the rest of the team when fall camp begins today.
The Crimson Tide coach said Wednesday that the probe into whether Dareus violated rules with a spring trip to Miami’s South Beach is in the hands of the NCAA.
Saban made it clear he expects Dareus to keep his focus on the field even while his status for the Sept. 4 opener with San Jose State remains in limbo.
“He’s mature enough to know that he created a situation for himself,” the coach said. “He’s going to have to live with the consequences if there are consequences. But there will be a day when he’s allowed to play football again, and it may be very soon.
“He needs to prepare himself to take advantage of that.”
Players at South Carolina, North Carolina and Georgia are also under investigation in connection with the Florida trip.
Saban had more definitive updates on several other players, including what he described as the “mutually agreed” decision for sophomore safety Rod Woodson to transfer to another program.
That move potentially creates more depth issues in an already inexperienced secondary which lost three starters and several reserves.
But Saban said he’s not losing sleep over the departure.
Woodson played in 12 games as a freshman, mostly on special teams.
“I don’t care how many players we have,” Saban said. “We have a lot of good players on this team, and I would rather move somebody from another position to play where we don’t have enough players than to allow somebody not to do the right things and be involved.
“I don’t think we do anyone any good if we do that.”
The secondary got a boost with junior college transfer DeQuan Menzie’s recovery from a torn Achilles tendon sustained during a spring pickup basketball game.
Saban said Menzie has participated in the players’ summer conditioning program for at least two weeks.
“We are hoping that we’ll be able to continue to progress him so that he can get to 100 percent by the opening game,” Saban said. “Provided he doesn’t have a setback from a medical standpoint, we think that’s very possible for him.”
Saban said Alabama is holding the 105th and final roster spot for one of two signees, wide receiver/defensive back Blake Sims or defensive back Deion Belue.
Both still awaiting clearance academically.
Defensive line signee Wilson Love didn’t pass the physical because of an ankle injury but will enroll in January and count toward next year’s class.
So will wide receiver Ronald Carswell, who is eligible.