Saban on off-field issues: "It's a problem"

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (AP) - Off-the-field issues continue to pile up for Alabama's football team: Two player arrests in six days, one dismissal and an indefinite suspension for linebacker Prince Hall.

With spring practice approaching and a top-rated recruiting class recently wrapped up, coach Nick Saban still often finds himself dealing with 'Bama's bad behavior.

"It's a problem," Saban said at a news conference today, adding that the team needs to have better discipline and judgment.

The latest incidents have included the arrest of All-Southeastern Conference safety Rashad Johnson on disorderly conduct charges. He allegedly pushed a security guard to the ground at a bar in the off-campus district called the Strip early last Saturday morning.

Plus, Saban said today he has kicked freshman defensive tackle Jeremy Elder off the team following his recent arrest for allegedly robbing two other students at gunpoint.

He said Hall has been suspended for --quote-- "violation of team rules and policies related to his behavior" and won't participate in spring practice or the team's offseason program.

The recent problems were only the latest incidents for the Tide. All told, eight players have been arrested in the nearly 14 months since Saban's hiring, five for disorderly conduct.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)


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