Alabama coach Nick Saban has suspended star safety Ha Ha Clinton-Dix indefinitely for violating unspecified team rules.
Saban announced the suspension of one of the top-ranked Crimson Tide’s top defensive players after Wednesday’s practice. Saban wouldn’t say what Clinton-Dix did wrong.
“I want to be consistent,” he said. “When guys get suspended, I never, ever say what it’s for. 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.”
Clinton-Dix is second on the team with 24 tackles and is a projected first-round NFL draft pick. He upended Ole Miss wide receiver Laquon Treadwell on a fourth-down stop early in last Saturday’s 25-0 victory.
His backup, Nick Perry, has been lost for the season after shoulder surgery. Saban said sophomores Geno Smith and Landon Collins are working at Clinton-Dix’s spot leading up to Saturday’s game with winless Georgia State.
“Landon Collins really doesn’t play the same position,” the coach said. “We’ve been working him at that position. Nick Perry was really Ha Ha’s backup. Nick Perry’s out, he had shoulder surgery. So he would have obviously been a guy who had experience, who played a lot in games before, who would have played there. But we’ve been working Landon and Geno Smith, primarily. We moved Geno to safety way back in fall camp. So those are the two guys that will primarily play that position in this game.”
Clinton-Dix is Alabama’s fourth announced suspension since the start of preseason camp, joining linebacker Trey DePriest, Smith and tight end Malcolm Faciane.
“He’s a great player and obviously he will be missed, but I’m confident in the guys we have behind him and the guys in the secondary to make adjustments,” Tide defensive end Jeoffrey Pagan said. “I think we’ll be all right.”
In February, the team dismissed freshmen Eddie Williams, Tyler Hayes and D. J. Pettway after they were charged with second-degree robbery for their involvement in separate robberies of two Alabama students. Brent Calloway was dismissed the same day after being charged with using a credit card stolen in one of the alleged robberies. Pettway ended up enrolling at East Mississippi Community College.