University of Alabama

Alabama football notes: DJ Hall one of two former Crimson Tide players arrested

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — Former Alabama football star DJ Hall and former walk-on Darwin Salaam have been arrested on drug charges in Tuscaloosa.

The Tuscaloosa News reported that the two were arrested Wednesday at a hotel after police responded to complaints that guests were smoking marijuana in a room. Each was charged with possession of marijuana and another controlled substance. They were released on bonds of $30,000 each. Police did not return a call Thursday.

Judge issues warrant for agent in Prothro case

A judge issued an arrest warrant for a Virginia sports agent who failed to appear in court on a charge linked to former Alabama football star Tyrone Prothro, but the agent said Thursday he’s been ordered by a doctor not to travel.

A judge ordered the arrest Wednesday after Raymond Savage Jr. didn’t show up in Tuscaloosa to answer a reduced charge of initiating contact with Prothro while he was still playing at Alabama.

Savage told the The Associated Press in a message he was under doctor’s orders not to travel, and his lawyers were working to clear up the case.

Savage was charged with violating Alabama state laws involving sports agents. He is accused of sending an employee to visit Prothro while the player was in the hospital after suffering a leg fracture that ended his playing career in 2005. The agent’s failure to appear in court was first reported by The Birmingham News.

Assistant Attorney General Don Valeska said Savage had agreed to plead to a misdemeanor with a $2,000 fine. Under the plea, Savage would have been restricted from traveling into Alabama, banned from dealing with any athletes from the state, and required not to contact Prothro or any witnesses, Valeska said.

Savage’s failure to show up in court may change all that, the prosecutor said.

“Now we may take that deal off the table and just try it in front of a jury as a felony,” Valeska said.

Saban uses personal history to make point

Again using his Wednesday news conference to deliver a message to his team, Alabama coach Nick Saban used his personal history to illustrate his point.

After saying the 3:30 p.m. Saturday game at South Carolina is the one “that will probably define us more than any other game we’ve played this year,” Saban took an opportunity to address unidentified individuals who were looking to take the easy way out.

So, he went back to his days watching television as a child in West Virginia.

“When I was a kid, I not only had to get up and turn the channel on the TV, I had to go out in the backyard — scared to death — and turn the antenna for my dad so he could change channels. Now, we don’t even get out of our chair and we have 500 channels and not three channels.

“So all my life, everybody’s been looking for an easier way to do everything. But to do this, there’s no easy way to do it.”

Picking on corners

After Saturday, freshman cornerback DeMarcus Milliner knows a little of what former Tide defensive back Marquis Johnson felt last year against South Carolina.

Milliner was flagged on back-to-back plays against the Gators for holding and pass interference.

Johnson, though thrown at on three straight identical plays in the end zone against the Gamecocks in 2009, defended the plays perfectly. Leading receiver Alshon Jeffery was the target last year and will likely play a similar role this season.

“Especially in the end zone, they must have tried five on us at least in the red zone to him,” Saban said. “We have to be able to play the ball and make those plays and I think eliminating the big play with (Jeffery) is probably the most critical thing our corners need to do in this game.”

— Michael Casagrande contributed to this report.