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September 3, 2009

Alabama waits for NCAA ruling on Harris

TUSCALOOSA _ Although the University of Alabama received a favorable ruling from the National Collegiate Athletic Association regarding the eligibility of sophomores Julio Jones and Mark Ingram on Wednesday, it's still awaiting word on another player, sophomore linebacker Jerrell Harris.

At heart of the matter is a laptop computer Harris received from Athens resident Curtis Anderson, the same person who went on the fishing trip with Jones and Ingram which was determined to be an impermissible benefit that the players had to repay.

According to a source close to Harris, he was not able to produce a receipt for the laptop and has since donated it to charity.

If Harris is not able to play against Virginia Tech, true freshman Nico Johnson is expected to take his spot on the depth chart, backing up linebacker Dont'a Hightower.

Harris played in 10 games last season, including the last seven and made three tackles. He had three tackles and two pass breakups during the A-Day Game.

Coach Nick Saban indirectly talked about issue during his weekly radio show Thursday evening, and was clearly unhappy.

"There are so many ways to support the program, but the culture here, the way the media is everywhere in the country, with Facebook and all the information that’s out there," he said. "These guys live in a fishbowl, and it’s a transparent fishbowl, and what they do is a major problem. If another student did it, it wouldn’t be a problem.

"Everybody has to make a contribution to do the right thing when it comes to our players. Just like my kids. I get mad at people who compromise their principles and values because they’re my kids. I don’t want you to do that. I want you to help them do right.

"It’s the same thing for my players."


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