Posted by ESPN.com's Chris Low
It’s limbo time for Alabama, the worst kind of limbo.
Alabama coach Nick Saban said Monday there’s been no resolution in the Julio Jones-Mark Ingram Gulf Coast fishing trip that Alabama officials have been spent all summer investigating.
The Tuscaloosa News reported last week that a member of the Alabama compliance staff has met with NCAA enforcement representatives about the matter.
Alabama has determined that Curtis Anderson, the Athens, Ala., man who took Jones and Ingram on the trip, is not an Alabama athletics booster or affiliated with Alabama in any way. At this point, Alabama has not self-reported any NCAA violations.
But the unnerving part for the Crimson Tide and their fans is that there hasn’t been any closure to this matter. Meanwhile, the clock ticks toward Saturday’s Top 10 matchup with Virginia Tech in Atlanta.
As Saban said last week, it’s “in someone else’s hands, and until it gets decided, I have no comment.”
For Saban to have no comment is telling enough. Rarely does he completely dodge a question.
What that tells you is that nobody at Alabama really knows, meaning there could be an agonizing decision on the horizon.
If Alabama doesn’t hear back from the NCAA and/or SEC by Saturday, do you risk playing Jones and Ingram against the Hokies?
Let’s face it. When you’re already on NCAA probation and have the track record Alabama does with the NCAA, you’re probably going to err on the side of caution every time.
It’s worth noting that the NCAA and/or SEC are almost certainly advising Alabama on this matter. In other words, even if there isn’t a resolution by Saturday, there’s sure to be some type of guidance on whether or not it’s OK to play Jones and Ingram in the game.
There’s been no talk of a suspension, and they’re both listed No. 1 on the depth chart and have been practicing with the starters.
The hardest part is the waiting. And the longer this goes without a resolution, the more nervous everyone gets.