The NCAA has just announced that Alabama defensive tackle Marcell Dareus will be suspended for two games. According to ESPN.com, Alabama has yet to decide if it will appeal.
For some fans and coaches, this is a relief considering the punishment that was given to wide receiver Dez Bryant after agent trouble.
Even though Dareus is suspended for just two games, how will this affect the Crimson Tide?
Dareus exploded last season and was one of the best players in the country during Alabama's run to the title. His accomplishments included Defensive MVP of the National Championship, preseason All-American, and preseason All-SEC.
Dareus was put under NCAA investigation after reports showed he attended a party in Miami with agents. Along with the suspension, he will have to pay back $1800.
If Alabama is smart, they will not appeal this decision.
Yes, the second game is against Penn State. But Alabama will be able to win these two games without Dareus because Nick Saban will have a winning game plan.
Despite how hard it is for me to say this, Dareus deserved the punishment he got. Saban made a great point when he said it was wrong for agents to trick players to go to parties and so forth, and Dareus should've listened.
Agents are a problem in college football and have always been. One of the top stories last year was the Dez Bryant drama, and this year, defensive players such as Dareus and Marvin Austin of North Carolina are caught up. Despite the growing problem of agents or "pimps," players should be smart enough to know they are doing wrong. As agents get worse and worse, players who are not smart enough to stay away will keep getting punished.
Hopefully, in the future, the NCAA and NFL can crack down on the problem with agents.
So the question now is, how is Alabama going to replace Dareus for these two games? Alabama still has players such as Josh Chapman who have playing experience on the defensive line. With all due respect, Dareus missing the first game against San Jose State is nothing that anybody should worry about. But Alabama still has to remember they are the defending national champions, and have the biggest target on their back.
Penn State wants Alabama. This is going to be a big game. Joe Paterno coached against Bear Bryant, so there is going to be a lot of passion put into this game, especially if Paterno decides to hang it up after this season. Saban will have to come up with more defensive schemes and stay a little bit longer in the film room to be able to figure out how to fill in Dareus's hole.
Even though Ingram is injured and Dareus is suspended, Alabama is going to manage. Saban knows that fans expect for him to win, and he is arguably the best coach in the country to take care of those expectations. Every team has its problems, but there is always someone on that sideline who wants a piece of the action. Trent Richardson will replace Ingram and Saban will probably rotate players for Dareus.
Saban and the Alabama coaching staff are going to find a way to win these games.