Derick E. Hingle-US PRESSWIRE

2012 Tide Spring Practice: What Happened to Duron Carter?


Do you know what’s up with Duron Carter? Is he suspended? If so, why?

That was the Tweet I received last night, a few hours after Nick Saban spoke to the media on the status of several players headed into spring practice. Saban listed several players that were recovering from injuries or off-season surgeries, and others that had been cleared to practice. The name that started the buzz among Alabama fans was that of wide receiver Duron Carter.

Carter’s rocky journey toward playing time took another bump yesterday, as Saban said that Carter – along with Michael Bowman and Ronald Carswell – remained suspended. Carter had been suspended prior to the BCS Championship game, and Saban gave no timetable as to the receiver’s return.

The hype over Carter was intense from the beginning. Being the son of NFL Hall of Fame receiver Cris Carter, he was a big catch for the Tide when he transferred to Alabama. Originally an Ohio State commit, he had to work on academics in junior college before finally winding up in Tuscaloosa.

That transfer led to his practicing with the Tide, while awaiting academic information that apparently never came. At the beginning of the 2011 season, Saban said, “There’s one piece of information we did not receive and have not ever received, and may not ever receive.” Carter ultimately had to redshirt for the 2011 season.

Rumors swirled about Carter’s academic habits and off-the-field behavior but as usual, Saban was tight-lipped. But this latest announcement brings almost a sense of resignation. Carter has not done what he’s needed to do in order to be allowed to participate. At this stage, it’s unlikely he ever will, and a can’t-miss prospect appears to be a won’t-ever-play situation.

The indiscretions of youth have wasted many an opportunity, and while we hold out hope that Carter will make the choices he needs to in order to realize his potential, Alabama fans should not hold their breath waiting for Carter to take the field this fall. It’s now highly likely that, instead of being part of Alabama’s tradition, Duron Carter may become part of Saban’s Process.

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