Ha Ha Clinton-Dix violates team rules

Updated: October 3, 2013, 11:38 AM ET
ESPN.com news services

Alabama free safety Ha Ha Clinton-Dix has been suspended indefinitely for violation of team rules, according to coach Nick Saban, who did not set a timetable on the preseason All-SEC defender's absence.

"When guys get suspended, I never ever say what it's for, so I'm not going there, so don't ask me," Saban said Wednesday as his team prepares for Saturday's game against Georgia State. "It's the way I've always handled this -- every guy. They do right, they wouldn't be getting suspended. And I don't know for how long this will be, so don't ask me that either."

A talented underclassmen with excellent range and ball skills, Clinton-Dix currently is ranked No. 18 on Scouts Inc.'s Top 32 for 2014. He's second on the team with 24 tackles and two pass breakups. His primary backup entering the year, senior Nick Perry, already has been lost for the season with a shoulder injury.

Instead, the job of replacing Clinton-Dix will fall to either Landon Collins or Geno Smith. Collins, a former five-star recruit at safety, has primarily played at inside cornerback this season but has since been working at free safety. Smith, who came on strong at inside corner late last season before transitioning to safety during fall camp, has not seen the field much this year after being arrested for a DUI prior to the start of the season.

Ha Ha Clinton-Dix
AP Photo/David J. PhillipThe suspension of Ha Ha Clinton-Dix will leave Alabama without its second-leading tackler.

"Landon Collins really doesn't play the same position," Saban said. "We've been working him at that position. Nick Perry was really Ha Ha's backup. Nick Perry's out, he had shoulder surgery. So he would have obviously been a guy who had experience, who played a lot in games before, who would have played there. But we've been working Landon and Geno Smith, primarily. We moved Geno to safety way back in fall camp. So those are the two guys that will primarily play that position in this game."

Clinton-Dix is Alabama's fourth announced suspension since the start of preseason camp, joining linebacker Trey DePriest, Smith and tight end Malcolm Faciane.

"He's a great player and obviously he will be missed, but I'm confident in the guys we have behind him and the guys in the secondary to make adjustments," Tide defensive end Jeoffrey Pagan said. "I think we'll be all right."

The Tide will not face a single ranked team in October. Alabama plays Georgia State, Kentucky, Arkansas and Tennessee followed by a bye week before No. 10 LSU travels to Tuscaloosa on Nov. 9.

Information from ESPN.com's Alex Scarborough and The Associated Press was used in this report.

Comments

Use a Facebook account to add a comment, subject to Facebook's Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your Facebook name, photo & other personal information you make public on Facebook will appear with your comment, and may be used on ESPN's media platforms. Learn more.