Marcell Dareus Needs To Prepare

Alabama Coach Nick Saban said there was nothing new to report on the Marcell Dareus situation, which is true. But the Crimson Tide coach did have some thoughts about the upcoming junior defensive end.

First and foremost was Alabama Coach Nick Saban's pronouncement that "We have nothing new on Marcell Dareus. There is nothing to report."

This summer, Dareus accepted the offer of a North Carolina star player to go to Miami Beach. The story that has leaked is that Dareus didn't realize something might be wrong until he got to Miami and sensed the presence of unscrupulous agents, or something like that.

Dareus said he reported the incident and then the Alabama compliance office and the NCAA went to work, cooperating in an investigation.

"The investigation has been done," Saban said. The NCAA will make a decision. We respect the way they have handled this investigation. Our compliance office has done a fabulous job."

While waiting for a decision, Dareus joins his Alabama teammates in Fall camp, which begins Thursday. Alabama will open the season August 4 hosting San Jose State.

"He will be able to practice," Saban said.

Dareus, an upcoming junior, is best remembered for his outstanding game against Texas as Alabama completed a 14-0 season and won the 2009 national championship. He was most valuable defensive player in the BCS Championship Game.

He is a pre-season All-America candidate and expected to be a high NFL draft choice.

Dareus, a naive of Birmingham, was the only Alabama player in Miami, but not the only highly regarded pro prospect. Historically, such contacts have not been dealt with harshly by the NCAA. Speculation has been that a worst-case scenario would be suspension for a game or two, and it is possible there would be no penalty.

Asked what approach Dareus should take in practice as he waits for a decision, Saban said, "I don't think there is any question that Marcell needs to focus on the future of what he can do to be the best player he can be. Whenever his circumstances are determined as to when he can play, he has to be prepared to play and have a great year. I think it's important for his future, important for our team; and Marcell is a team guy.

"He's on the leadership group. He set's a great example in terms of his effort, his toughness, his attention to detail to execute and do his job well and to finish plays and is also one to be willing to engage and try to influence other players.

"I don't see any of that changing for Marcell. He's mature enough to know that he created a situation for himself, and he's going to have to live with the consequences if there are consequences.

"There will be a day when he's allowed to play football again and it may be very soon. He needs to prepare himself to take advantage of that."

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