Assistant strength coach on leave in Clinton-Dix matter

Anniston StarOctober 3, 2013 

TUSCALOOSA -- Alabama assistant strength and conditioning coach Corey Harris has been placed on administrative leave after compliance department officials discovered he gave a loan to junior safety HaHa Clinton-Dix, a source confirmed to the Anniston Star on Thursday.

Nick Saban did not field any questions about Clinton-Dix or Harris during his radio show.

The Tuscaloosa News first reported the story.

The report states that Harris was found to have had a connection to a representative of a sports agent, but Clinton-Dix had no contact with any agent representatives.

Clinton-Dix, who was suspended indefinitely on Wednesday, received a short-term loan from Harris of less than $500 at some point in the summer. The report also states Clinton-Dix repaid the loan and provided bank statements to Alabama's compliance department to prove it.

Employees are not permitted to provide any loans of

any sort to student-athletes because it is considered to be an impermissible benefit, per NCAA bylaw 16.11.2.2.

Citing an anonymous source, ESPN.com reported Clinton-Dix is the only player involved and is expected to be eligible to play "within the month."

Dr. David Ridpath, an associated professor of sports administration at Ohio University, told al.com that Clinton-Dix's penalty won't last "a long period of time."

"It is certainly a serious issue, and Alabama is acting correctly in how they've addressed it so far," Ridpath said. "I think the fact that he's already paid the money back is probably going to be seen as a mitigating circumstance. I'm just not sure the NCAA has a leg to stand on there in terms of penalizing him for a long period of time."

John Infante, a former compliance official at Loyola Marymount and Colorado State and author of the Bylaw Blog for AthleticScholarships.net, told al.com said the situation is similar to two recent infractions cases, one with the coach, Harris, and one with the player Clinton-Dix.

"From the coach's perspective, it sounds like a mini John Blake at (North Carolina)," Infante said.

Blake is a former assistant coach at North Carolina. He was accused of accepting cash from a sports agent and was given a three-year show-cause penalty from the NCAA.

Harris is one of nine assistant strength and conditioning coaches employed by the University of Alabama.

"From Clinton-Dix's perspective, even if the coach is deemed an agent, it is still not that serious of a violation," Infante told al.com. "Marcell Dareus was in line for a four game suspension before mitigating circumstances and he was found to have received over $2,000 from an agent."

In 2010, Dareus was suspended for two games when he received $1,787.17 worth of improper benefits from an agent. Initially, the suspension was four games, but the NCAA reduced it to two because of "mitigating circumstances." Dareus' situation was resolved by the NCAA in less than two months.

Clinton-Dix, a third-year junior, is considered one of the nation's best safeties and is projected to be a first-round pick in the 2014 NFL Draft.

He's second on the team with 24 tackles and also has two pass deflections.

On the field, Saban said sophomores Geno Smith and Landon Collins have worked in Clinton-Dix's position.

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