News from the Tennessee Valley Sports

Alabama continues inquiry into athletes’ books

By Josh Cooper · 340-2460

TUSCALOOSA — The University of Alabama is continuing its inquiry into a textbook scandal, which led to five football players being suspended for the Crimson Tide's win Saturday over Tennessee.

According to a university press release, offensive lineman Antoine Caldwell, running back Glen Coffee, right guard Marlon Davis, cornerback Marquis Johnson and special teams player Chris Rogers will be allowed to practice with the team during the investigation, but no timetable has been set in regard to their suspensions.

"Due to the large number of scholarship student-athletes at The University of Alabama, and the fact that an internal review covering textbook purchases is being conducted, it is unclear how soon the inquiry — or any part of the inquiry — will be completed," the release said.

The release didn't not reveal why the five players were suspended, and the school said no more statements will be forthcoming until the inquiry is complete. According to the release, the objectives of the inquiry center on reviewing the distribution of textbooks to Alabama athletes.

  • o athlete from any other Alabama team has been suspended at this time.

    The review, which began Friday morning, involves the university's financial affairs office, the athletics compliance office, the athletic department's center of athletic student services and the University Supply Store.

    The release gave a detailed explanation of Alabama’s textbook distribution policies:

  • Student-athlete’s name and campuswide ID are sent to the book store.

  • Student-athlete’s class schedule is obtained through the registration system.

  • Book store bags the textbooks for the student-athlete to pick up.

  • Books are given to the student-athlete.

  • Student-athlete reviews the contents with a book store employee.

  • Student-athlete signs a form acknowledging receipt of the textbooks.

  • If the student-athlete needs more books for any reason (class changes, etc.), the same process must be repeated.

    Alabama football coach Nick Saban was not available for comment, but following the Crimson Tide’s victory over the Vols, he addressed the situation.

    “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,” Saban said. “You’ve heard me say it before, that we can’t tolerate poor judgment.”

    Last week, the NCAA penalized Ball State because of its textbook program. The case involved 89 athletes in 10 sports over a 21/2-year period. The athletes received $26,944 in textbooks they did not need. The books were given to other students who were not athletes.

    Ball State was cited for lack of institutional control. The NCAA reduced the football’s total scholarships by three for the next two years. Also, the athletic program was placed on probation for two years.

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