The Alabama Crimson Tide football team received some tough news today after practice.
Head coach Nick Saban announced that star safety Ha Ha Clinton-Dix is suspended indefinitely for a violation of team rules. These rules were not disclosed by Saban, and the severity of the situation currently remains unknown by anyone outside of the Crimson Tide team.
“I don’t know how long it’s going to be, so don’t ask me that either,” said Saban during the press conference.
This is a devastating blow to the dominant Crimson Tide defense, as Clinton-Dix is one of the premier safeties in college football. His play has elevated him up virtually ever NFL draft board and he is widely considered a first-round pick in the 2014 NFL Draft.
Clinton-Dix is junior and has built off of his awesome play from 2012. This season, he is second on the team in tackles with 24 total. He also has two pass breakups on the year. Clinton-Dix also had five interceptions in 2012, including one in the national championship game.
This is concerning for the Alabama defense, which hasn’t been as statistically dominant as it was a season ago, although they are still playing at a national championship caliber level.
Another positive for Alabama is their next four games are against Georgia State, Kentucky, Arkansas and Tennessee, so they aren’t necessarily matching up against any major powers. This could give Clinton-Dix time to return before they square off with LSU on November 9.
How Alabama decides to replace the production of Clinton-Dix also remains to be unseen. His was Nick Perry, but he is out for the season with a shoulder injury. Safeties Landon Collins or Geno Smith are the most likely replacements.