November 17, 2007

Textbook 5 get green light for AU game

The biggest news at Bryant-Denny Stadium is supposed to happen on the turf after the kickoff.

Saturday, it happened in the press box before the kickoff.

Five Alabama football players suspended a month ago had their eligibility reinstated by the National Collegiate Athletic Association, according to a UA release made available in the press box about 30 minutes before the Crimson Tide's xx-xx win over Louisiana-Monroe.

Offensive linemen Antoine Caldwell and Marlon Davis - both starters - defensive backs Chris Rogers and Marquis Johnson, and running back Glen Coffee were suspended just before Alabama's 41-17 win over rival Tennessee for what the university termed as "impermissible receipt of textbooks."

The university then launched an internal review of its textbook distribution procedures while the players sat out an idle week, a home loss to Louisiana State, a road loss to Mississippi State and Saturday's win over the Warhawks. learned earlier this week that the findings of UA's internal review had been forwarded to the NCAA, which responded with a ruling of re-instatement Saturday morning.

The ruling clears the way for the players to compete in next week's Iron Bowl against archrival Auburn at Jordan-Hare Stadium. Alabama (7-4) has not beaten Auburn since 2001. Without Caldwell, Davis and Coffee, the Crimson Tide's rushing attack has been dealt the biggest blow by the suspensions. Alabama averaged xxx rushing yards prior to the suspensions, but only xxx in three Southeastern Conference games since.

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