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Ha Ha Clinton-Dix Reinstated By NCAA

mrsec-breaking-newsAlabama safety Ha Ha Clinton-Dix has been reinstated by the NCAA and is eligible to play for the Crimson Tide this weekend against Arkansas.

Clinton-Dix served a two-game suspension for allegedly receiving a loan of less than $500 from assistant strength and conditioning coach Corey Harris, who was placed on administrative leave on Oct. 3. The loan had been repaid by Clinton-Dix before his suspension was announced, according to

Clinton-Dix, who was selected first team All-SEC by the media before the season began, has 24 tackles in four games played this season.

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What Does The Future Hold For Alabama And Ha Ha Clinton-Dix?

Ha Ha Clinton_DixWhere 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.

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Report: UA Staff Member Provided Impermissible Benefits To Clinton-Dix

mrsec-breaking-newsSuspended Alabama safety Ha Ha Clinton-Dix received impermissible benefits from assistant strength and conditioning coach Corey Harris, according to a report from

Harris, who has been placed on administrative leave, was also found to have a connection to a representative of a sports agent, according to the report. From TideSports:

Harris made a short-term loan to Clinton-Dix in an amount less than $500 at some point in the summer, an apparent violation of NCAA Bylaw, which states that “an institutional employee or representative of the institution’s athletics interests may not provide a student-athlete with extra benefits or services, including, but not limited to … a loan of money.” Clinton-Dix has provided bank records to UA athletic compliance department representatives that show a withdrawal in the amount he said he repaid to Harris, has learned.

Alabama coach Nick Saban announced Wednesday that Clinton-Dix has been suspended indefinitely for a violation of team rules.

“I don’t know for how long this will be, so don’t ask me that either,” Saban said.

Stewart Mandel of Sports Illustrated doesn’t expect the suspension of Clinton-Dix to last long. But that might not be the biggest concern for Alabama.


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Alabama Suspends S Clinton-Dix For Violating Team Rules

Clinton-DixWell, I guess you could say violating a team rule at Alabama is no laughing matter.  That’s because starting safety HaHa Clinton-Dix has been suspended indefinitely due to just such an infraction.

Nick Saban broke the news yesterday afternoon, though he refused to go into specifics:


“I’m going to be consistent.  When guys get suspended, I never ever say what it’s for.  All right?  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.  That’s the only new news we have right now.”


OK, got it.

Clinton-Dix is a key member of an Alabama defense that’s had its ups and downs in 2013.  He’s expected to be a first-round NFL draft pick should the junior leave after the season.  He led Alabama with five INTs last year.

A cynical man might point out that Alabama faces lowly Georgia State this week with a visit to bottom-of-the-East-Division Kentucky to follow.  Either way, the loss of Clinton-Dix leaves a large hole in Bama’s secondary.  Saban said that sophomores Landon Collins and Geno Smith will attempt to fill that hole until Clinton-Dix returns.

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Bama’s Saban Wants The Targeting Rule Changed

official-with-flagWelcome to the club, Nick.

Yesterday, Alabama head coach Nick Saban was asked about the NCAA’s new targeting rule which calls for a 15-yard penalty and the ejection of a player after a wide array of possible hits (defenseless players, crown of the helmet, above the shoulders… the rule is as clear as mud).  His team fell victim to the new rule last weekend.

On Saturday, Tide safety Ha’Sean Clinton-Dix was flagged for targeting and booted from Bama’s game with Texas A&M.  However, the ejection portion of that penalty is subject to review and, in this case, it was ruled that Clinton-Dix could continue to play.  Fine.  But that replay does not allow a booth official to overturn the 15-yard penalty call.  So Alabama saw that yardage marched off in A&M’s favor.

Asked specifically about the rule, Saban said:


“Personally, on the rule itself, if you can review a play to say a guy should be ejected or not be ejected, to me, you should be able to review if it was a penalty or not a penalty.  That’s not what the rule is.  You asked my opinion.  I’m giving you my opinion.”


Below you can watch the play for yourself.  You’ll see that Clinton-Dix was going for the interception and, as CBS analyst Gary Danielson put it, he and A&M receiver Derel Walker “just bumped into each other.”


Clinton Dix Targeting Call


This won’t be the last time you see the new targeting rule lead to controversy in a big game.  It is a rule with multiple interpretations.  Which makes it a bad rule.

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Top Five Defensive Back Signees For 2011

The defensive backfield class of 2011 is an impressive one in the SEC.  It’s loaded with athletes possessing the ability to play either cornerback or safety.

Look at Malcolm Mitchell. He’s a talented athlete who decided to play for his in-state Georgia Bulldogs. He could be the best defensive back entering the SEC… but he could also be a full-time wide receiver for UGA. That’s where we have him projected to play when he arrives in Athens, which is why you won’t find him on this list.

Here are the top five high school defensive back signees in the SEC in 2011.

1. Ha’Sean Clinton-Dix – Alabama

He might be Alabama’s top prospect and top recruiter in this year’s class. Clinton-Dix helped sway his high school teammate Dee Hart to play running back at Bama instead of Michigan. Clinton-Dix (6-2, 195) is an elite athlete with the frame to be a standout safety for Alabama. He has the perfect combination for a safety – the ability to cover the run and pass. Nick Saban will no doubt find a way to use that in his secondary.

2. Jonathan Rose – Auburn

He’s one of those versatile athletes mentioned above with the ability to play cornerback or safety for the Tigers. Rose enrolled at Auburn in January and went through spring practice. So far it’s all cornerback for Rose, who has already earned practice time with the first and second units in Auburn’s secondary. His size (6-1, 180) should allow him to cover the big targets in the SEC.

3. Erique Florence – Auburn

Florence is one reason Rose should be able to stay at cornerback. He is a talented safety who will have an opportunity to help AU this fall. The Tigers are young and inexperienced at the safety position, which will offer opportunities for Florence and other freshmen arriving in the summer. Florence is known as a tough hitter and should help Auburn in run support. If he proves to be strong in pass coverage, too, expect big things from Florence. 

4. Marcus Roberson – Florida

His recruitment was a mess, but it doesn’t take away from the fact that Roberson can play. He originally committed to Texas Tech and then Auburn before ultimately signing with Florida. Roberson could play cornerback or safety, but corner will likely be his first shot in Gainesville. The Gators should be set up nicely for the future in the defensive backfield. Fellow signee Jabari Gorman is expected to be a nice addition to the safety position as well.

5. Justin Coleman – Tennessee

He wouldn’t have made this list if he hadn’t decided to enroll in spring practice at UT. Coleman impressed during the spring and should earn playing time this fall. Coleman isn’t UT’s highest-rated signee, but he’s a solid player who looks to be a nice fit in the Vols’ defensive backfield. Tennessee was thin in the secondary last year, but depth shouldn’t be an issue going forward. Coleman has already showed he has more potential than several veterans already on Knoxville’s campus.

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Alabama Signees (9:55AM ET)

Here’s the updated Alabama list of LOIs received:

Jeoffrey Pagan, DL
Ha’sean Clinton-Dix, DB
Wilson Love, DL
Ronald Carswell, WR
Ryan Kelly, OL
Trey Depriest, LB
Quinton Dial, DL
Aaron Douglas, OL
Phillip Ely, QB
Demetrius Hart, RB
Vinnie Sunseri, LB
Jesse Williams, DL

Pagan is a major get for the Tide and could be the first of many today.

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Dee Hart’s Friend Says He’s Going To Alabama

Running back Dee Hart has switched his commitment from Michigan to Alabama, according Dr. Phillips High School teammate and friend Ha’Sean Clinton-Dix.

Clinton-Dix, who is also committed to Alabama, has been wavering on his commitment to the Crimson Tide. That shouldn’t be the case if Hart attends Alabama.

“If Dee said Alabama, then I’m done too (with recruiting),” Clinton-Dix told the Orlando Sentinel. “That’s my best friend, and he’s doing the right thing for him.”

It would be a good thing for Alabama to land both players.

Hart, who would be Alabama’s 22nd commitment for the 2011 class, is considered the nation’s best all-purpose running back by Clinton-Dix is ranked the nation’s top safety by Rivals.

Hart’s decision to attend Alabama could have an impact on the Crimson Tide’s recruitment of Isaiah Crowell, who’s a highly-touted tailback from Carver High School in Columbus, Ga.

Crowell, who’s ranked the nation’s fifth-best running back and 29th best prospect overall by Rivals, is considering Alabama, Auburn and Georgia. He’s considered the No. 1 priority for Georgia’s 2011 class.

Crowell plans to visit Alabama on Jan. 14, Georgia on Jan. 21 and Auburn on Jan. 28.

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