Offensive guard Alphonse Taylor is in doubt for USC vs. Alabama after Crimson Tide head coach Nick Saban announced his indefinite suspension with DUI charges pending.
Alabama’s offseason of legal trouble continued this weekend when offensive lineman Alphonse Taylor was arrested and charged with driving under the influence early Sunday morning.
By Monday afternoon, Alabama head coach Nick Saban announced that Taylor has been indefinitely suspended.
“We are very disappointed any time a player makes a choice that leads to this kind of behavior,” Saban said in a statement. “We are still in the process of gathering all of the details on the situation, but from a football standpoint, Alphonse Taylor has been indefinitely suspended from the team.”
The guard had just been named to the preseason All-SEC second team, as voted by reporters for SEC Media Days. He played in 35 games during his career with 17 starts and was expected to return as a starter in 2016.
Taylor is just the latest Tide player to run afoul of the law this offseason.
Cam Robinson, one of the top top offensive tackles in the country this season, and Lawrence “Hootie” Jones, a member of Alabama’s safety rotation, were arrested in May on gun and drug charges.
With the two indefinitely suspended as well, there were questions about whether they would suit up against USC for the season opener.
However, those charges were later dropped by prosecutors due to lack of evidence and leniency.
As a result, Saban indicated at Media Days last week that the two would be likely to play in Week 1 if they stayed on track for the remainder of the offseason.
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As punishment for their arrests, Robinson and Jones had to do community service, undergo weekly drug testing and participate in a variety of other activities to get back in the good graces of their head coach.
With Taylor’s charges pending, it’s not clear if he will have to undergo similar punishment or if his suspension will include the beginning of the season.
Though Saban has been criticized for his handling of the Robinson situation, it is likely that charges would need to be dropped in this case as well for Taylor to avoid missing time this season.
If Taylor is unavailable against USC, Alabama would turn to redshirt freshman Brandon Kennedy, who had already taken first team reps from Taylor this spring while he worked through weight issues.