And now we know a little more of the rest of the story.
Monday night, Alabama confirmed that three players — offensive lineman Deonte Brown (pictured), offensive lineman Elliott Baker, tight end Kedrick James — had been suspended for the Dec. 29 College Football Playoff semifinal matchup with Oklahoma in the Orange Bowl. Thursday, Nick Saban confirmed that the trio would also miss the national championship game if the Crimson Tide gets past the Sooners Saturday night.
Additionally, the head coach also confirmed that unspecified NCAA violations were at the root of the suspensions, which could extend beyond the 2018 season.
“Those things (the NCAA violations) carry certain consequences,” Saban said according to al.com. “And those players knew the situation. They made poor choices and decisions.”
The most notable name of the group is Brown, who has started five of the last six games at left guard for the Crimson Tide. With Brown out, Lester Cotton, who lost the job to Brown midseason, is expected to take over once again against the Sooners.
James, listed as the Tide’s third-string tight end, has played in 10 games the past two seasons, with five of those appearances coming this year and five coming in 2017. He has yet to catch a pass at the collegiate level.
Baker has yet to play a down for the Tide, although he has earned his degree from the university.