Nick Saban makes a decision on Da'Shawn Hand's discipline
Alabama opened fall camp Thursday and head coach Nick Saban followed the first practice with his debut press conference of the 2017 season. The biggest question going into the event was the status of defensive lineman Da’Shawn Hand after the senior was arrested for DUI last weekend.
RELATED: Reactions to Saban’s decision on Hand
Before questions opened up, Saban addressed the situation by announcing Hand would not be suspended for the season opener against Florida State, provided he continues to do what is required of him.
“Da’Shawn put himself in a bad situation, obviously made a mistake being where he was at the time, but, the fact that he didn’t drive the car — which is what we tell the players not to do,” Saban said. “It’s not okay that he was drinking, with me. That’s a behavioral issue that needs to be addressed and we will address it. But the fact that he didn’t drive the car, wasn’t driving the car, did not put other people at risk, which to me is the most significant thing when you drive under the influence. But he didn’t drive. (The police) had every right to do what the did.
“We put him in 48-hour in-patient (treatment), for assessment purposes, professional people assess what he needs to do, what we need to do with him and that’s what we will do with him. Because he put himself in that situation, we will put him in community service… and if he does everything he’s supposed to do, he will not be suspended. Because what we are doing is helping the player.
“If he would have drove the car, it would have been a totally different circumstance.”
Hand is a critical member of the Alabama defensive line and is expected to be a starter heading into the season. He was regarded as the No. 1 overall recruit in the nation in the 2014 recruiting cycle. Last season, Hand made 21 tackles and two sacks for the No. 1 scoring defense in the nation.