HOOVER, Ala. -- Alabama star left tackle Cam Robinson and defensive back Hootie Jones will not be suspended for their offseason arrests if they continue to "change their behavior," coach Nick Saban said Wednesday at the 2016 SEC Media Days.
Robinson and Jones were arrested May 17 on misdemeanor charges of possession of a controlled substance and illegally carrying a weapon in the presence of narcotics. Robinson was also charged with a felony for possession of a stolen gun. The charges were dropped in Louisiana last month due to insufficient evidence, according to the Ouachita Parish district attorney's office.
"Cam Robinson and Hootie were not charged with anything," Saban said Wednesday. "I think the facts we have are a little different than sort of what was advertised. Both players have done a significant amount of things to change their behavior internally, whether it was police ride-around, whether it was community service, or juvenile groups that need positive role models and influence to make better choices and decisions.
"So we have viewed this as these guys do these changes to change their behavior and help these other people, and that is ongoing. If they continue to do that, that will be how this matter is handled internally."
Robinson is considered one of the top NFL prospects in the country. In deciding to drop the charges, district attorney Jerry D. Jones cited insufficient evidence and the opportunities that exist for the players.
"I want to emphasize once again that the main reason I'm doing this is that I refuse to ruin the lives of two young men who have spent their adolescence and teenage years, working and sweating, while we were all in the air conditioning," Jones told KNOE News in Louisiana.
Saban said Wednesday that Alabama tries to teach its players respect for other people.
"I think when people make poor choices and decisions about how they use these things [guns] you're talking about, it's because they're afraid," Saban said.
"They don't have a relationship. They don't have understanding. They don't have a feeling, whether it's a policeman or some young person. ... There's always a little fear. I think when you have that kind of fear, you have people making poor choices and decisions about how they do these things."