Coach Nick Saban Addresses Castille Situation

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – Those Alabama fans worried that All-SEC cornerback Simeon Castille might not be on the field when the Tide hosts Western Carolina can sleep well tonight.

"Suspending them is not always the answer," said Tide coach Nick Saban when queried about the specifics of Castille's internal consequences for his recent disorderly conduct arrest. "What are they going to learn from that?"

While following his usual policy of not announcing the specifics of Castille's "correction," Saban did say he has already made up his mind what extra things Castille will have to do following his own investigation of the early Sunday incident on "The Strip" in Tuscaloosa.

"Punishment vs correction; sometimes correcting someone can be far more harsh than the punishment itself," he said. "It's not okay to get arrested for disorderly conduct, but there are degrees of that. I'm disappointed. We have to learn from it. It's not the kind of reflection on the program that we'd like to have."

Saban said his investigation included talks with the Tuscaloosa Police (who he repeatedly expressed support for) and players present during the incident.

One man on that list was Antoine Caldwell, himself an All-SEC player. "He was there. Is he a bad guy?" Saban asked. "We'll continue to recruit all the guys like Antoine Caldwell and Simeon Castille that we can get. Simeon Castille, I would recommend to anyone, anytime, anywhere, for any job he every wanted."

Caldwell was expectedly grilled by reporters after Saban was done. "We need to be a little bit more focused and aware about where we are," Caldwell said, while revealing no specifics about the incident. "We're college kids. We're going to have fun. but we need to be aware that we are high-profile people, when we're out on the town. We just need to take (that) into consideration, and we need to be more focused, and more aware of what we're doing."

"We support Simeon in everything that's happened, 100 per cent. We back him. We've just got to get ready to move forward with this football season."

One logical question Saban concerned the possibility of making "The Strip" off limits for his players, since this is the second such incident there this summer after the earlier charges against Brandon Deaderick, Brandon Fanney and Roy Upchurch.

"If we continue to have incidents here, we may have to do it a different way in the future," he said. "I don't condone what happened. These things are kind of on the rise everywhere."

"I tell the players all the time that there is nothing that I know that happens after twelve o'clock at night"

"I don't know how the police officer saw it," said senior receiver D.J. Hall. "I don't know how ‘Sim' saw it, but we respect the police department. They've got a job, just like we do. We can't point fingers. It's too late now to try to worry about what happened that night. We've got to move forward."

Quarterback John Parker Wilson adamantly chose to not comment on the situation, but did offer, "I don't know what happened. I know Simeon's a good guy, that I've known since we've been here, and we're going to move forward as a team."

Junior defensive end Bobby Greenwood said players have to be cautious when out in public. "There's definitely a spotlight on us," he said. "We represent this university, so we've just got to take it upon ourselves to be careful with everything we do."

Defensive tackle Lorenzo Washington said he's under 21 and doesn't drink, but still gets recognized. "When I go out, around campus, a lot of the students know me," he said. "When I go off-campus, to restaurants and stuff like that, I'll be recognized by people. I don't think I'm like a Brodie Croyle or a DeMeco Ryans yet, but hopefully, my playing time will increase and my play will increase." Washington added that he's been pleased with his progress on the nose considering he hasn't practiced in full gear since December prior to this camp.

Saban added that the squad will increase tomorrow, as is always the case the first day of school. He said the number would go from the current 105 to no more than 130, including 10-12 true freshman walk-ons, and some players who went through spring drills but did not make the 105.

Some who went through spring won't be back, but one who will appear is kick-returner and wide receiver Jonathan Lowe, who Saban said had an academic appeal regarding summer school that was apparently granted according to a report Saban received just prior to Tuesday's workout.

Saban said the next few days would be spent on fundamentals, basic execution, and the tailoring of some installation to counteract schemes run by some of Bama's first few opponents. He said only one extra day of practice (Friday) will be dedicated to Western Carolina, the Tide's first opponent Sept 1, in a 6:07, pay-per-view kick-off.


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