Clinton-Dix Has Been Suspended

Alabama starting safety HaHa Clinton Dix has been suspended indefinitely for a violation of team rules, Crimson Tide Coach Nick Saban announced Wednesday.

HaHa Clinton-Dix, a 6-1, 208-pound junior safety from Orlando, Fla., is Alabama's second-leading tackler with 24 stops and also has two pass break-ups. He has started every game this year.

As is always the case in a suspension, the precise reason was not revealed. Alabama Coach Nick Saban said, "If they do right, they wouldn't be getting suspended. I don't know for how long this will be."

Bama is preparing for its homecoming football game against Georgia State on Saturday at Bryant-Denny Stadium. The Crimson Tide is 4-0 and ranked first in the nation. Georgia State is 0-4. Kickoff is at 11:21 a.m. CDT with television coverage on the SEC Network.

Earlier this year, Clinton-Dix had been backed up by Nick Perry. Perry, however, suffered a shoulder injury that required surgery and is out for the season. Saban said that Landon Collins, who has been alternating with Vinnie Sunseri at strong safety, and Geno Smith, who was converted from cornerback to safety in fall camp, would move up at Clinton-Dix's position.

The other big news was not nearly so big. Three players have had number changes, one of them for the second time this season, because of special teams issues. Earlier this year the Tide was penalized because two players wearing number 21 – Derrick Henry and Maurice Smith – were on the field for kickoff coverage at the same time.

Saban said, "We have double numbers from 29 to 0. So it must be en vogue to not have a number above 29. If we had 42 single-digit numbers, we would have 84 people who had them because all the guys would want them.

"Now the problem with that is, when you get on special teams — we already got called for having two 21s in the game at the same time. We can't take people out of the game and put other guys in because of number issues. This is a special teams issue. It's not anything other that. So Rueben Foster is going to be No. 9 (from 2 which is DeAndrew White's number), Derrick Henry is going to be 27 (from 21, and he was 3 during spring practice but gave that up so he and Vinnie Sunseri could be on the same special teams), and Altee Tenpenny is going to be 28 (from 23 with Jabriel Washington)."

Saban said, "The big point of emphasis this week when I talked to you early in the week was to improve as a team, to work on things we needed to improve on. I think in some areas we've done that and some areas we probably need to do better.

"It all comes down to when you focus you mental intensity. That's when you pay attention to detail. That when you do the little things right. That's when you usually improve. We need to continue to do that. We are trying to create the kind of practice habits that guys can carry over in the game.

"It's even been the case, sometimes, where they do things correctly in practice and then they don't do it in the game — same scenario, same play, same defense whatever it is. That kind of consistency is what we need if we are going to improve."

The coach also noted that "This is homecoming. I think it's always special to be part of homecoming because it's special to so many people who come back here and have great memories and I hope a lot of gratitude for those memories they had and developed and the relationship they developed during college, and this gives them an opportunity to come back and renew some of those memories and some of those relationships. It's always great to have those people to come back to the University of Alabama and be part of our team. We always look forward, at a team, to homecoming."

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