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At Nick Saban's behest, Alabama defender sends apology to Gary Pinkel for 'body slam' on Mizzou RB

By Jerry Hinnen | College Football Writer

As ways to stay in Nick Saban's good graces go, anyone could have guessed that breaking out a dangerous wrestling move on an opposing player in the dying seconds of an Alabama blowout (and in the first game since Saban made player safety the linchpin of his broadside against no-huddle offenses, no less) probably doesn't rank high up the list at all.

But redshirt freshman LaMichael Fanning removed all doubt against Missouri, tackling Tigers running back Russell Hansbrough in a suplex "body slam" Gary Pinkel told the Tiger Quarterback Club (per the Columbia Daily Tribune) "could have been remarkably serious." The play, which occurred with 2:20 remaining in the game and Alabama up 42-10:

According to the Montgomery Advertiser, Saban was none too pleased with the play, calling Pinkel to apologize for it Sunday and saying Fanning would face "internal discipline."

Part of that discipline was writing an apology to Pinkel and Hansbrough, one that Pinkel confirmed he received at the Quarterback Club. The SEC issued a statement Tuesday that it had reviewed the play but would not suspend Fanning.

“I think this is a young player who's excited about getting into the game, makes very, very poor judgment on making that play,” Saban said. “It's something that we don't condone here. It's not how we want our players to play ... We are managing internally things for him to do to make better choices and decisions in the future.”

Here's another guess: after this kind of public rebuke and even worse coming in practice, Fanning (and any teammates who are paying attention) probably will.

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