Crimson Tide deals with suspensions, other issues

Crimson Tide has had 10 players suspended in last eight months

Anniston StarOctober 7, 2013 

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -- A hot topic surrounding Alabama has been the team's recent off the field issues dating back to its latest national championship.

Over the past eight months, the Crimson Tide have had 10 player suspended for various reasons, some of public knowledge and some not.

From the outside looking in, one can conclude that the Tide may have a discipline problem.

"We're not going to be willing to worry about anybody's perception of what's happening if we have to take steps to get guys to do the right things the right way at the right time," Tide coach Nick Saban said. "I think that our concern is that we get our players to do the right things the right away all the time. If players are committed and doing the right things, we won't have those issues to be dealing with.

"But if it's not happening that way, I think the way to get it that way is to make sure everybody knows and understands that in this world we live in, there's consequences for every choice and decision that you make."

With success, comes a sense of entitlement. Alabama's last two national championships have created a standard of excellence that isn't easy to live up to. Saban and his staff are constantly battling against complacency, entitlement and selfishness.

"The way things are right now, and I see it happening every day, is the me-first mentality is something that's very difficult to have when you're in such a great team sport like football," Saban said. "Guys have got to understand that you've got to put the team first. You've got to buy into the principles and values of the team so that you can have the kind of team chemistry that you need to be successful."

Star safety HaHa Clinton-Dix is the latest to be suspended after he violated team rules and policies. There has been no word on how long Clinton-Dix suspension will last, but it leaves a major hole to fill on the Tide's defense.

Linebacker Trey DePriest said the team is supporting Clinton-Dix and that players are blocking out the distractions.

"We can't let (off the field stuff) affect us on the field," DePriest said. "We try not to worry about all that stuff. We can't. It's out of our hands so we just keep rolling."

Added quarterback AJ McCarron, "We just don't worry about it. It's not affecting me as a person. It has nothing to do with me. It has nothing to do with anybody else. It's whoever it's going on with. Us as a team, we can't let anything like that affect us that we have no control over."

DePriest say while Saban and coaches are there to inform players of how their actions could affect others, it is also up to each individual player to know how to act off the field.

"He always preaches about that, but you should know that just for yourself," DePriest said. "You're not just representing you. You're representing your family, this team and yourself. You should already know that."

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