News from the Tennessee Valley Sports

Brown, Hall to
sit out opener

Castille pleads not guilty to
disorderly conduct charge

By Josh Cooper 340-2462

TUSCALOOSA — On its first day of game week preparation for the 2007 season, Alabama was dogged by off-the-field issues.

According to coach Nick Saban, wide receiver Keith Brown and linebacker Prince Hall will be held out of Alabama's Saturday game against Western Carolina violations of team policies.

Also, cornerback Simeon Castille pleaded "not guilty" in his arraignment Monday stemming from his Aug. 19 arrest and charge for disorderly conduct. A trial date has been set for Sept. 26.

Neither Castille nor his lawyer Thomas King showed at Tuscaloosa Municipal court.

"His attorneys have given him proper counsel, and he is following what people close to him say, and they think that is the proper protocol," said Tommy Jackson, a former coach of Castille's and close family friend. "His attorney took an approach that he thought was the best approach."

Saban did not release the details of the violations committed by Brown and Hall but was hopeful that the situation will not linger.

"It's a one-game deal," Saban said. "And if their behavior is good in the future, they won't have any other consequences."

Replacing Hall, a preseason second-team all-SEC selection at middle linebacker is Decatur High graduate Rolando McClain.

As a middle linebacker, McClain will be a "signal caller," meaning he will receive the plays from the sidelines and inform the defense of the call.

While Saban said a lack of depth at linebacker was the reason why McClain was thrust into the role, McClain's talent was helpful in making the decision.

"(Rolando) has worked hard, and he's earned the position that he's in," Saban said. "So, regardless of where he is, he's the best player we have to do this right now."

Last season, Hall finished third on the team with 71 tackles.

According to a depth chart released by Saban, sophomore Mike McCoy will slide into Brown's slot as starting wide receiver.

In 2006, McCoy had no catches and was played sparingly but not red shirted by then-coach Mike Shula.

With a glut of receivers on the team, Saban said that it is a position that can withstand Brown's absence.

"We probably have as much depth at receiver as at any position on our team," Saban said.

"We've had a lot of receivers who have done well in camp, so we're looking forward to seeing how they do when they get an opportunity in the game."

Last season, Brown had 43 catches for 583 yards and three touchdowns.

He was hobbled for the second half of the season after hurting his knee Oct. 14 against Ole Miss.

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