Alabama Football: Saban Dismisses Linebacker After Arrest

Bleacher ReportCorrespondent IJune 24, 2008

Tuesday afternoon Alabama Head Football Coach Nick Saban dismissed linebacker (and former running back) Jimmy Johns from the Crimson Tide football program after Johns was arrested around 8:00 a.m. on Tuesday morning.

Johns was charged on multiple counts of possession and distribution of powder cocaine.

"This type of behavior obviously will not be tolerated and he is no longer a part of our program," Saban said in a statement.

Capt. Jeff Snyder of the West Alabama Narcotics Task Force indicated that the findings of the investigation into Johns' narcotics, did not find any other Crimson Tide athletes to be involved in the drug dealing.

Johns who had struggled to find a way to contribute to the team throughout his career at Alabama, was in the process of transitioning from running back to linebacker. He had completed spring drills at both weak and strong side positions.

Johns was one of Mike Shula's more notable recruits, earning Mr. Football honors in Mississippi in 2004. He was ranked the No. 3 recruit making The Clarion-Ledger's Top Ten Most Wanted recruits list. He also made The Mobile Press Register's Super Southeast Top 120 list.

However, his success from the high school fields of Mississippi never translated into success in the Southeastern Conference. Johns struggled to get playing time at running back under Shula, compiling 495 yards in 2005 and 2006 with only one touchdown. Johns never saw playing time at running back under Nick Saban in the regular season, contributing solely to the special teams unit.

The arrest and departure of Johns leaves the already questionable linebacker corps in even more doubt. The situation will at least free up one more scholarship spot for Saban's recruiting class, this though, was probably not how Saban wanted the spot to open up.

Alabama will start fall practice on July 31 and kickoff the season on August 30 against the Clemson Tigers at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta. The game will be nationally televised by ABC Sports and will air at 8:00 p.m. EST.


For more news on this developing story stay tuned to Bleacher Report's coverage of Alabama Football.