Sunday, November 18, 2007

D.J. Hall and The Incredible Shrinking Suspension

Alabama fans were greeted Saturday with the game-time announcement that the team's star player, receiver D.J. Hall, would be suspended for what was expected to be a "tune-up game" against lightly-regarded Louisiana-Monroe. bloggers Paul Gattis (Huntsville Times) and Ian Rapoport (Birmingham News) both reported before kickoff that Hall's suspension would be for the ULM game; there was no mention in the contemporaneous accounts of a "one half suspension."

Flash forward a couple of hours. As Alabama was tied with ULM in the second half and being dominated throughout the third quarter, Hall's suspension was magically lifted and he returned to play (as it happened, it didn't matter whether Hall was on the field or not; UAT was shut out in the second half). Gattis, to his credit, reiterated the point about Hall's suspension at that time:
Alabama leading receiver DJ Hall, who was said to have been suspended for today's game, started the second half for the Tide.

Hall did not play in the first half.

UA football SID Jeff Purinton said that Hall would not play today because of a violation of team policy.
After the game, Rapoport asked Alabama Coach Nick "I am not going to be the Alabama coach" Saban about Hall's sudden reinstatement, and received the following enlightening response:
I asked Saban post-game if receiver DJ Hall was suspended for 30 minutes from the beginning. As in, was it a game suspension that turned into a half suspension?

"It was what it was," he said.

So, I asked, a half suspension?

"What it was," Saban said.
C'mon, Flipper. Everybody knows you're a snake and a liar who'll do anything to win football games. Why not go ahead and admit it: not losing to a bottom-feeder was a lot more important to you than maintaining discipline in your program. You panicked and put Hall back in the game because you didn't think you could win without him (you were wrong, of course, but that's beside the point).

You know, this team looks more and more like it's still being coached by Mike Shula. Discipline problems, charges of favoritism from the coaches, long losing streaks and now a loss to one of the worst teams in the country. Has anything really changed other than the coach being a jackass and the school paying a whole lot more money for the same results? Why not just give Hall an ice cream cone and make it official?


Joe Blow said...

You might want to add that Eli Gold and Kenny Stabler announced the suspension before kickoff. They were as shocked as everyone else when he came into the game.

Joby said...

But look on the bright side, at least now we can mock them even more for their loss.

Unknown said...

In the interest of fairness, you should probably note that Saban later admitted to reducing Hall's suspension to the first half because it was senior day and his parents were there to see Hall's last game in Bryant-Denny.

That undermines the whole non-feeling coaching automaton criticism a bit, don'tcha think?

Joby said...

dude, it's a fan site on the net. If you are defending Saban right now, you are obviously related to him.

Unknown said...

If by "fan site" you mean "fanatic" then yeah, I see your point. It would be futile to impute upon you my level-headedness and resistance to succumb to the tide of envy sweeping the conference and the mainstream media.

Maestroh said...
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Ree C. said...
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