Alabama head coach surprised many today when he announced a list of players who will not participate in Spring practice. Saban said Duron Carter, Ronald Carswell and Michael Bowman all remain suspended and will not be allowed to participate. Also, Tyler Love and Undra Billingsley will both graduate early and will not return for their final year of eligibility in 2012. Duron Carter Suspended.
Saban also said that Eddie Lacy and Arie Kouandjio were still recovering from injuries and would be held out. Lacy continues to rehab a nagging turf toe injury and Arie Kouandjio is rehabbing a surgically repaired knee. On the bright side, Saban did not say Arie’s brother Cyrus would be held out. He is also recovering from knee surgery that ended his 2011 season.
Lastly, Saban said Jay Williams will be giving up football to play baseball.
Spring practice begins Friday, sans the seven players announced today.
Carswell and Bowman were both suspended before Alabama began bowl preparations in December. At the time, Saban said they had both been suspended for a long time. That surprises no one for Bowman, who was reportedly in and out of Saban’s doghouse for the 2010 and 2011 seasons.
The Carter suspension announcement is the one that surprises most. Alabama missed the big play potential that Julio Jones brought to the field every Saturday, and Carter was expected to make an immediate impact in 2011. However, he never attained academic eligibility and was forced to redshirt the season.
Going into spring practice, Carter was again expected to make a push to get on the field. As late as the Friday before the BCS Championship game, Carter’s father Cris told a crowd at a luncheon that his son would be eligible to play and that the Tide had “big things” planned for him. That apparently won’t happen and it remains to be seen if he ever sees the field in an Alabama uniform.
Saban also announced that Brent Calloway would see some spring reps at linebacker, another non-surprise given the depth Alabama features at the tailback position. However, he also stressed that it was only an experiment.