TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (AP) - Alabama coach Nick Saban isn't saying whether he will play receiver Julio Jones and tailback Mark Ingram in the season opener pending an NCAA ruling on their eligibility.
Saban said Wednesday the decision "is up to the NCAA," not him. The fifth-ranked Crimson Tide opens Saturday night against No. 7 Virginia Tech.
A university investigation concluded Jones and Ingram committed no violations by taking a fishing trip paid for by an Athens businessman. The university said the man was not an Alabama booster or fan.
But the NCAA has not ruled on the players' status, and a spokeswoman did not immediately return a call.
Saban said end Brandon Deaderick probably won't play after getting shot in the arm during an apparent robbery attempt.
Sabans Response: "That is up to the NCAA," Saban said. "I don't think it's my decision to do anything. We are hoping for a response and we want to do what we need to do to do things the right way from a program standpoint and for the players' best interest. I think the institution has handled the situation with tremendous professional integrity. We're hopeful that we'll have some kind of resolution to this situation in the short term."
(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)