October 4, 2013 10:33:55 AM
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -- Alabama has placed an assistant strength and conditioning coach on administrative leave for lending money to suspended defensive back Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, The Tuscaloosa News reported Thursday.
Clinton-Dix was suspended indefinitely by the coach Nick Saban on Wednesday for violating unspecified team rules, but no other details were released.
The Tuscaloosa News, citing unidentified sources, reported Corey Harris was put on administrative leave. The newspaper said that while the Alabama compliance office was looking into the loan of less than $500 Harris made to Clinton-Dix it found Harris also had a connection to a sports agent. The loan could violate NCAA rules about student-athletes receiving extra benefits.
Per NCAA bylaw 184.108.40.206, employees are not permitted to provide cash or loans of any sort to student-athletes because it is considered to be an impermissible benefit.
ESPN.com, citing an anonymous source, reports Clinton-Dix is the only player involved and is expected to be eligible to play "within the month."
Two NCAA compliance experts told Alabama Media Group that Clinton-Dix's penalty likely will be minor.
Harris, a former assistant coach at Stanhope Elmore High in Millbrook, is one of nine assistant strength and conditioning coaches employed by the school. He attended the 2013 NFL draft with former Alabama cornerback Dee Milliner, whom Harris coached in high school.
Alabama athletic department spokesman Doug Walker said he couldn't comment on personnel matters.
Saban took the same stance Wednesday when he announced he was suspending Clinton-Dix, one of the top-ranked Crimson Tide's top defensive players.
"I want to be consistent," Saban said after Wednesday's practice. "When guys get suspended, I never, ever say what it's for. So I'm not going there. So don't ask me. It's the way it always happens. Every guy. If they do right, they wouldn't be getting suspended. I don't know for how long this will be, so don't ask me that either. "
Clinton-Dix is second on the team with 24 tackles and is a projected first-round NFL draft pick.
He is Alabama's fourth announced suspension since the start of preseason camp, joining linebacker Trey DePriest, Smith, and tight end Malcolm Faciane.