Alabama Crimson Tide All-American safety HaHa Clinton-Dix received money from Tide assistant strength coach Corey Harris, according to a report from the Tuscaloosa News. Harris has been placed on administrative leave, and we learned yesterday that Clinton-Dix would be suspended indefinitely by Nick Saban.
It was initially stated that Clinton-Dix was suspended for a violation of team rules, which could have been anything from skipping class or being late to a team meeting. Instead, the issue is much more complicated than that, and it’s more bad news for the football program involving violating NCAA rules.
The Tuscaloosa News also reported that Harris, a former Alabama safety from 2003-06, had a connection to a representative of a sports agent. The university’s internal investigation yielded no evidence that HaHa had any dealings with said agency.
Over the summer, Harris provided Clinton-Dix with a loan of less than $500, which HaHa reportedly has already paid back according to bank records he provided to the university’s compliance office. This is a violation of NCAA Bylaw 126.96.36.199, which prohibits institutional employees from providing extra benefits of any kind to athletes.
Alabama’s swift handling of this situation should lessen the sting of any NCAA punishment. Nick Saban and the athletic department seemed to have handled this situation appropriately with placing Harris on administrative leave and the indefinite suspension of Clinton-Dix.
It isn’t that serious of a violation, and it’s unlikely that Alabama will have to forfeit any games due to playing an ineligible player. He will likely have to serve a suspension of a couple of games, and everything will be fine. Remember, Marcell Dareus was suspended for just two games for accepting more than $2000 from an agent back in 2010.
Even still, this is more bad news for the program after the reports in September of former All-American tackle D.J. Fluker accepted impermissible benefits during his playing days in Tuscaloosa.
Follow John on Twitter.