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October 20, 2013

Clinton-Dix apologizes for two-game suspension

Alabama safety Ha Ha Clinton-Dix apologized on Twitter on Sunday for accepting a loan from a former strength and conditioning coach that forced him to sit out two games.

"I just want to apologize to my family, teammates, university and fans for the mistake I made during the summer and I have learned from it," Clinton-Dix tweeted on Sunday afternoon.

"God pulled me through that tough (sic) suspension and I kept nothing but faith in him thank you Lord my Father."

Clinton-Dix was suspended indefinitely on Oct. 2 for a violation of team rules. On Oct. 3 TideSports.com reported that the suspension was due to accepting money from Alabama strength and conditioning assistant coach Corey Harris. Clinton-Dix missed Alabama's games against Georgia State and Kentucky but was reinstated by the NCAA on Friday afternoon.

Clinton-Dix called his two-game suspension "tough" after Alabama's win on Saturday. He learned Friday he was eligible to play against Arkansas. He tallied five tackles and an interception.

"It has been very tough," Clinton-Dix said following Alabama's 52-0 win over Arkansas. It was the first time Clinton-Dix spoke to the media since the suspension was announced. "I've been trying to do my best to keep my head up and let God deal with it."

Clinton-Dix made an immediate impact with the interception, one of three turnovers forced by the Crimson Tide against the Razorbacks.

"His presence was felt in this game, so I'm happy for him to be back," said linebacker C.J. Mosley, who tipped the pass that Clinton-Dix corralled in the first half.

Clinton-Dix did not start the game but saw plenty of action when strong safety Vinnie Sunseri left the game with a knee injury in the first quarter.

Alabama coach Nick Saban said the plan entering the game was that Clinton-Dix would only play in the Crimson Tide's dime (six defensive backs) package and the backup at both free safety and strong safety.

"When Vinnie went out, he was the next guy in and did a good job," Saban said. "He used his experience, knowing to adjust to the formations ans his leadership out there really helped the other guys."

Sunseri is scheduled to have an MRI on his knee on Monday.

While Clinton-Dix was suspended, he was working on the scout team defense and getting reps against Alabama's starting offense. The time out still tested his patience, however.

"It was (testing)," Clinton-Dix said. "But at the same time I had to worry about me. Continue to try and stay in shape, cover guys and keep up with them."

With Sunseri out, Clinton-Dix is expected to start when Alabama takes on Tennessee on Saturday.

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Reach D.C. Reeves at DC.Reeves@tuscaloosanews.com or 205.722.0196.

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