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December 20, 2013

UA statements on why Pettway was re-admitted

Less than a year after being dismissed from the University of Alabama football program and withdrawing from school, D.J. Pettway was officially re-admitted Friday afternoon, the university announced.

Pettway was one of four Alabama football players along with Tyler Hayes, Eddie Williams and Brent Calloway to be indefinitely suspended by coach Nick Saban for their involvement in the robbery of two UA students (Pettway, Hayes and Williams) and the fraudulent use of a credit card (Calloway).

Pettway admitted involvement in the crime according to depositions filed by UA police officers. The degree of Pettway's involvement remains unknown, however he was charged with two counts of second-degree robbery. Due to his youthful offender status, the outcome of the case remains unknown.

He committed to Alabama in the 2011 class from Pensacola Catholic School and played in 13 games in the 2012 national championship season, registering seven tackles and 1.5 sack, one of which came in the BCS National Championship game against Notre Dame.

The Tuscaloosa News asked UA athletic director Bill Battle several questions about Pettway being allowed to return to school. Battle released the following statement.

"One of our primary points of emphasis in college athletics is to make every effort to help develop the total person. As part of the University community, there is an obligation on the part of the student-athlete, the University and the Athletics Department in helping each person that represents us to reach their potential. On occasion, there are special circumstances that arise, particularly when a young person takes the first steps on their own to earn the privilege of attending our University. We treat every disciplinary case with care and sensitivity to all involved and we respect the University's procedures regarding punishment and readmission. We understand our responsibility, not only to the University and the student-athletes, but also to our community and our state."

Alabama also released a statement from associate vice president for university relations, Deborah Lane, Friday afternoon to help clarify how and why Pettway was re-admitted to school.

"D.J. Pettway was suspended from UA in February 2013 after he was arrested for two counts of robbery. The charges stemming from his arrest are no longer pending. Pettway recently petitioned for re-enrollment to the University. After thoroughly evaluating all aspects of his request, which includes the facts surrounding the February 2013 arrest as well as Pettway's current situation, the University is allowing Pettway to re-enroll for the Spring 2014 semester. Pettway's continued enrollment depends on his ability to fulfill all requirements the University has specifically mandated for him during the remainder of his time as a UA student."

After leaving Alabama, Pettway enrolled at East Mississippi Community College, where he played and earned All-American honors in 2013, recording 47 tackles with 11.5 sacks.

Coaches at EMCC described Pettway as a model student-athlete. He re-signed with Alabama along with EMCC defensive lineman teammate Jarren Reed earlier this week.

Reach Aaron Suttles at aaron@tidesports.com or at 205-722-0229.

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