Alabama defensive lineman Da’Shawn Hand won’t be suspended for his DUI arrest over the weekend, as long as “he does everything he’s supposed to do,” head coach Nick Saban announced Thursday.
“I have two choices. I could punish the guy for putting himself in a bad situation, but making a pretty good decision after he put himself in that situation,” Saban said, via USA Today Sports. “Or we could take the situation that he put himself in, which was drinking, and have him assessed for that and try to help him so that he can make better choices and decisions for the future.”
“So, rather than worry about the punishment part of it, we put him in 48-hour in-patient for assessment purposes. Professional people will assess what he needs to do, what we need to do with him and that’s what we will do with him. Because he put himself in that situation, we’ll give him community service and police ride around and different things that will help him. If he does everything he’s supposed to do, he won’t get suspended. Because I think we’re helping the player. If he had driven the car, it would have been a totally different circumstance.”
Hand, a former five-star recruit, recorded 21 tackles and two sacks in 2016 and is expected to start at defensive end this upcoming season. Through three seasons in Tuscaloosa, the 6-foot-4, 280-pound defensive lineman has amassed 44 tackles, 11 tackles for a loss, and seven sacks.
Hand participated with the first-team defense during Alabama’s first practice of fall camp on Thursday, according to Matt Zenitz of AL.com.
“Da’Shawn put himself in a bad situation, obviously made a mistake being where he was at the time,” Saban said. “But the fact that he didn’t drive the car, which is what we tell the players not to do. It’s not OK that he was drinking, with me, and that’s a behavioral issue that needs to be addressed and we will address it.”
“But the fact that he didn’t drive the car, and wasn’t driving the car, he did not put other people at risk — which is to me the most significant thing when you drive under the influence. But he didn’t drive. But they (the police) had every right to do what he did.”