Yesterday's first day of spring practice at Alabama also meant Nick Saban's first spring meeting with the media, and he surprised no one by stating that recently arrested All-American safety Mark Barron would be punished "internally" after lying to police officers.
But that wasn't the only news Saban delivered:
Alabama senior Robby Green was not at practice Monday after he was suspended by the team for violating team rules and policies, Saban said.When all is said and done, it's unlikely a first-time offender (and critical defensive leader) like Barron misses any time this fall, or even much this spring. (He participated fully in the first day of spring drills.)
"We'll see where that takes us down the road," Saban said. "That's all I'm going to say about that. Any other discipline that's going to be handled with any one of these players will be handled internally and will not be talked about publicly."
But with Green, it's a different story; though a major contributor at safety in the Tide's run to the 2009 national championship, he was suspended for the entirety of the 2010 season for NCAA-related violations. Few players get so much as a second chance after that kind of misstep under Saban, much less the third Green will now apparently require.
Until Saban says otherwise, the safe assumption is that Green is still a member of the Crimson Tide and is on track to take the field this fall. But the Tide have also once again signed more players this past Signing Day than they would appear to have room for under the 85-scholarship limit, and will likely see an offseason roster exodus similar to those of the past three summers in Tuscaloosa.
If that does prove to be the case, Green has positioned himself as one of the most likely candidates to look for a less suspension-hampered college football home.
For more on the Tide's spring practice, check out our Alabama Spring Practice Primer .