TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -- In a brief statement, Alabama coach Nick Saban announced that linebacker Xzavier Dickson and running back Alvin Kamara have been suspended and will not play in the Sugar Bowl.
Dickson, a junior, saw time in a reserve role at Jack linebacker behind Denzel Devall. Dickson was not seen at practice during the media's viewing period on Thursday.
Kamara, a true freshman, didn't touch the field this season. He missed a week of practice in November and wasn't on the sidelines for the LSU game for "behavioral reasons."
Since the beginning of fall camp, Saban has suspended eight players for different reasons. Defensive lineman LaMichael Fanning (Harris County) is the only suspended player who hasn't returned.
Saban also suspended freshmen linebackers Dillon Lee and Ryan Anderson before the BCS national championship game in Miami for violating curfew.
Packing on the pounds
Alabama quarterback AJ McCarron has had a busy few weeks.
Between being honored as an All-American and traveling for award ceremonies, McCarron has enjoyed the final portion of his ride with the Crimson Tide.
McCarron said he may have enjoyed it a tad too much.
"I gained too much weight," he said Thursday to the laughter of some reporters. "Seriously, that's no lie."
McCarron said he left Tuscaloosa at 214-216 pounds, but after stopping in three cities in five days, all of the eating showed up on the scale. He said he ate a lot of New York style pizza.
"I came back and weighed in with my shoulder pads on -- my shoulder pads are four pounds at the most -- I was 230," McCarron said. "I was like 'oh my gosh.' The first day back I could feel it.
I was big. But I was moving fine. I was back down today to 224. That's good."
McCarron won the Maxwell Award in Orlando, received the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award in Baltimore before heading to New York for the Heisman Trophy ceremony, where he finished second.
"No matter if I won it or not, I was going to have fun," McCarron said. "It was a mini vacation for myself and my family. It was our first time every being in New York. It was an awesome experience. Whatever happened, happened. I wasn't going to worry about it. Not many people can say they are Heisman finalist and finished No. 2. Second-best in school history, which is pretty cool, with all the great players how played here. I had fun."
Bye bye beard
Before the season, Alabama right tackle Austin Shepherd began growing a beard that the crew from Duck Dynasty could appreciate it.
The beard took on a life of its on as Shepherd received questions about it earlier in the year.
Now, it's gone.
"I went home after the Auburn game," Shepherd said. "My mom had been dogging me all year, telling me to shave it because I look terrible. But I had promised her if we lost a game I'd shave it and she held me to it. I really didn't want to, but she made me."