|Grant carries a heavy hammer. (AP)|
Something pretty terrible must be happening inside the Alabama program. Days after starter Tony Mitchell was indefinitely suspended from the team, head coach Anthony Grant has now suspended JaMychal Green, Andrew Steele and Trevor Releford, the school announced Saturday afternoon. All three are starters.
What's more, the players were sent home from the team's road trip in Louisiana. Alabama plays against LSU at 7 p.m. ET Saturday night.
The news of the players suspended was first broken by Cecil Hurt of Tuscaloosa News, then confirmed soon thereafter by a school press release.
“We are extremely disappointed in the choices and decisions made by these young men that has led to this suspension,” Grant said in a release. “Talent is a gift, but character is a choice. The consequences of their choices have negatively impacted them as individuals and the people that love and support them. Our hope is that they will be mature enough to accept responsibility for their actions and place a higher value on their character.”Grant's actions are perhaps unprecedented. Alabama is a 16-7 (5-4 SEC) team that's not assured of an NCAA tournament berth. It now goes without its four best players. Can you remember a college basketball coach in contention for the NCAAs that had to suspended this many starters? If it's something this drastic, the players involved had to know what was coming. Mitchell was the first signal, and now five days later it's this.
The Tide is a mess, and unless Grant's message is received and obeyed, Alabama could be chancing missing the NCAA tournament despite clearly having talent worthy of playing games that matter in March.