The Alabama Crimson Tide suspended star safety HaHa Clinton-Dix indefinitely for a violation of team rules after he accepted a $500 loan from assistant strength and conditioning coach Corey Harris. Not only was Clinton-Dix suspended, but Harris was placed on administrative leave.
As it turns out, the entire situation could have been avoided.
According to reports, the loan came when Clinton-Dix’s car was broken in to at the end of June and an iPad, cash, apparel, subwoofers and other valuables were stolen. Rather than going to the right people at the university, Clinton-Dix allegedly went to Harris and received the loan in order to pay for some of the items.
If Clinton-Dix would have taken the appropriate measures, he could have received money he needed while avoiding any suspension.
If the loan was made to Clinton-Dix in order to pay for some of the lost items or damage to his vehicle, his biggest error was asking the wrong person in Alabama’s athletic department.
If an athlete suffers a misfortune such as having his or her car or home broken into and robbed, the institution has multiple options to help the student-athlete out. One is the Student Assistance Fund, the combination of the old Student-Athlete Opportunity and Special Assistance Funds. That is money which comes from the NCAA to pay for these types of misfortune or emergency expenses.
The NCAA also has a set of pre-approved incidental expenses waivers that includes:
- Expenses to replace lost or stolen items (for example, jewelry, clothing, money) that were stolen while thestudent was participating in intercollegiate athletics (police report required).
- Expenses to replace stolen essential items (for example, dorm or apartment key, identification cards, textbooks), regardless of athletics participation (police report required).
- Expenses to repair student-athlete’s automobile, which was vandalized during an away-from-home contest when the automobile was parked in a lot used by student-athletes when they travel.
It’s unfortunate that Clinton-Dix took the inappropriate measures and was hit with the suspension, but the good news is that he is not expected to miss much time.
Even better for Clinton-Dix is that a minor issue like this should not affect his draft status. Currently, he is projected as a first-round pick in the 2014 NFL Draft if he chooses to declare. We expect that he will keep that draft stock.
In the future, let’s hope that this situation will better educate players and ensure that they take the appropriate measures if they need financial assistance for unexpected incidents that are covered by the NCAA incidental expense waivers.