Alabama head coach Nick Saban got that 'ole "processer" fired up on Wednesday, and it was bad news for four players involved in an on-campus robbery earlier this month.
Saban announced that Eddie Williams, D.J. Pettway, Tyler Hayes and Brent Calloway are no longer associated with the program, according to a release from the university.
Williams, Pettway and Hayes were each charged with two counts of second-degree robbery, while Calloway was charged with fraudulent use of a credit card stemming from two on-campus incidents on Feb. 11. In the release, Saban said:
Based on all the information we've received and gone through in trying to determine the future of the four guys that got in trouble, those guys are no longer associated with the football program. Their actions do not reflect the spirit and character that we want our organization to reflect.
Saban's decision to dismiss the players may not have come as quickly as some would have liked, but he had no other choice.
The trio of players charged with robbery allegedly attacked two students on campus, which makes this more than a football issue. Those are violent crimes against fellow students, which makes it an institutional issue as well.
You can't have people charged with violent crimes against students on university grounds on campus, much less on the football team.
Calloway's case is a little different in the sense that his charge is far less severe. But he does have a drug arrest from October 2011, so his leash was already quite a bit shorter than the other three players.
Naturally, this will lead to "oversigning" jokes, which will point out that the dismissal of the four players actually helps Saban get under the 85-player cap.
There's some truth to that on the surface, but this isn't the same.
Williams was a 5-star safety in the class of 2012 and one of the top players in the country, and Hayes would have probably found some playing time this fall. Let's not put this into the same conversation with Saban's liberal use of medical hardships, because it's not.
Saban had no choice and did the right thing by letting them go.