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SUNDAY, OCTOBER 21, 2007
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5 Tide players sit out on textbook infraction

By Josh Cooper
jcooper@decaturdaily.com · 340-2460

TUSCALOOSA — The University of Alabama announced the suspension of five players before Saturday’s 41-17 win over Tennessee.

Offensive lineman Antoine Caldwell, running back Glen Coffee, right guard Marlon Davis, cornerback Marquis Johnson and special teams player Chris Rogers sat out. According to a university release, the players were held out because of “a violation of institutional policy involving impermissible receipt of textbooks.”

The issue was discovered Thursday, and Crimson Tide head coach Nick Saban informed the players Friday of their suspension. According to the release, the school is investigating.

“Obviously, there were some players who didn’t use good judgment in what they did,” Saban said following the game. “I don’t know all the circumstances surrounding it. There’s a system in place that shouldn’t allow this to happen. It obviously didn’t work. It was poor judgment on the players’ part.”

Caldwell has started every game since his freshman year, which is 32 total. He began the season as Alabama’s starting center, then moved to right guard to make room for Evan Cardwell at center. He then switched to left guard, replacing Justin Britt, who missed time after his mother was involved in an accident two weeks ago.

Davis started five of Alabama’s first six games, and Coffee is Alabama’s second-leading rusher with 413 yards.

Johnson has four tackles on the season, and Rogers has nine.

The school did not say how long the investigation will take or the main issue of the investigation.

“These suspensions are a measure aimed at dealing with the facts as we know them at this time,” Alabama athletics director Mal Moore said in the release. “While I cannot discuss the situation in great detail, I can assure you we will address it fully when we have completed this inquiry.”

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