Just about every bit of news between now and very late August is going to be bad news for college football programs and that is certainly the case for Alabama on Saturday.
As first reported by the Tuscaloosa News, Crimson Tide projected starter Da’Shawn Hand was arrested on Saturday morning and charged with driving under the influence. It’s unclear as to whether the defensive end is in the process of getting released just yet but local media is reporting that his bail has been set at $1,000 in the matter.
“This type of behavior is not acceptable and we are disappointed in Da’Shawn’s actions,” head coach Nick Saban said in a statement. “We are still gathering information and will evaluate what we need to do in terms of appropriate discipline as we move forward, so better choices and decisions can be made in the future.”
Obviously Saban isn’t committing to any sort of punishment for Hand just yet but his potential loss early in the season will be notable considering how much rebuilding the Tide has to do up front following the departures of Jonathan Allen, Davlin Tomlinson and others. Add in facing a potential top five team in Florida State for the season opener and things just might be a little more interesting come kickoff down in Atlanta.
Hand was supposed to turn into the latest first-rounder off of the defensive line under Saban after arriving in Tuscaloosa as the No. 1 overall recruit in 2014. He recorded just 21 tackles and two sacks last year as a junior but is expected to play a vital role in the team’s pass rush as this season’s projected starter at one of the defensive end spots.
Saban has been all over the place in terms of player discipline over the years so it’s hard to say just what he’ll do with Hand at the end of the day but the bottom line is it’s never a good phone call for the coach to receive, much less just a few days before preseason camp opens on Thursday.