TUSCALOOSA — Alabama head coach Nick Saban knows the NCAA’s ruling of an appeal on the suspension of junior cornerback Tony Brown. He just doesn’t know if he is allowed to release the information to the media.
“I’m being honest with you,” Saban said during his Wednesday news conference. “I’m not trying to keep anything from you. I was told not to announce it.”
Brown was suspended for six games by the NCAA, according to a report from Al.com in July. The university then appealed for a lesser punishment.
Brown was sent home days before the Crimson Tide’s Cotton Bowl matchup against Michigan State last season. He is expected to be available to play following this week’s game.
“Let me just put it this way, everything has been done that needs to be done for him and Johnny Dwight both,” Saban said. “So that’s all I can say about it.”
The suspension of Dwight, a sophomore defensive lineman, was not revealed until Saban’s statement Wednesday.
Saban has respect for MAC
Saban was asked about Kent State several times Wednesday heading into Saturday’s matchup against the Golden Flashes. After playing defensive back and later coaching at Kent State, Saban said he still views the university as a special place and credits it with impacting his life both personally and as a coach.
While Saban has great respect for his alma mater, he continued to stress the importance of his players respecting the Golden Flashes on the field come Saturday.
“The Mid-American Conference is known for sneaking up on people,” Saban said. “We want to focus on starting fast and finishing strong in this game and trying to improve as a team. The big test is whether we can correct and execute better, which I think we’ve done a little bit better job in practice this week.”
The message seems to be sinking in to his players. When asked if it will be hard to get up for this week’s game following a highly-anticipated win against Ole Miss, Alabama linebacker Ryan Anderson said the team can’t afford to take anyone lightly.
“There are no down shifts,” Anderson said. “We’re going to practice this week like we’re preparing for the National Championship. That’s the only way we’re going to get better as a team. You can’t down shift and then pick it back up. You just can’t do it.”
During his interview session with reporters on Monday, Anderson showed why many on the team list him as one of the funniest people in Alabama’s locker room. However, the senior has been good for more than just a few laughs.
With the departure of several key players on defense from last year’s team, Anderson has stepped up as one of the Tide’s leaders this season.
“Ryan is a well-liked guy on the team,” Saban said. “I think a lot of people respect him as a player and I think he’s got a great personality. I know he does a great job in terms of setting a good example in terms of leadership and work ethic and doing the right things on the field. I think he affects other people in a positive way. But I also think it’s done in a way that everybody appreciates his sense of humor and his personality. I think those are all positive qualities for him to have.”