Alabama Football Players Not Fully Developed

Alabama football players look like men – mostly big, strong men – even though usually they are between 18 and 22 years old. Studies tell us that men may mature physically by that age, but they do not mature mentally and emotionally until a few years later. Which explains knucklehead.

We don’t know what Alabama linebacker Trey DePriest did that was “a minor” NCAA violation, which got him suspended for Saturday’s season-opening game against West Virginia. We do know that it is inexcusable; and given Bama’s past dealings with the NCAA, it should make everyone nervous.

How does Nick Saban not have a head full of white hair? This summer we have seen Jarran Reed get arrested for driving while a parking lot. We have seen Kenyan Drake get arrested because he refused to obey a police order not to cross a crime scene line. (Drake wanted to get his car out of the parking lot where police had just shot a man.) Brandon Ivory, a returning starter at nose tackle, was suspended early in pre-season camp, though no reason was given. He was listed third when Bama issued its depth this week.

What are these guys thinking? They have an opportunity to have a football career under one of the finest coaches of all time in one of the nation’s premier programs and earn a degree from The University of Alabama. Is keeping a clean nose for four or five years out of the question?

DePriest, a senior middle linebacker, had been expected to be the leader of the defense. As the most experienced inside linebacker, the pre-season All-Southeastern Conference performer was also expected to be the defensive play-caller, the man who gets Bama players into the right positions.

Instead, he’ll be on the sidelines Saturday when Alabama and West Virginia meet in Atlanta’s Georgia Dome. Kickoff is at 2:30 p.m. CDT (3:30 eastern) with television coverage by ABC/ESPN2.

He is expected to return for Bama’s second game of the season next week.

The suspension of DePriest for the opening game is in some contrast to Auburn quarterback Nick Marshall’s penalty of not starting the Tigers game against Arkansas Saturday. Presumably, all Marshall had done was drive down the highway smoking dope. It was probably the first time he had tried the weed, since there has been no mention of previous failed Auburn drug tests. His coach said he was not prepared to say how much Marshall would play against the Razorbacks.

It doesn’t take much to read between the lines. If Auburn can handle Arkansas with no problems, Marshall will be held out and Auburn Coach Gus Malzahn will be trumpted “disciplinarian!” If Auburn has trouble, Marshall will get into the game pronto. Ah, the depth of integrity.

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