Tuscaloosa Al, - (al.com) Alabama assistant strength coach Corey Harris has been placed on administrative leave after UA compliance department officials discovered he provided a loan to junior safety HaHa Clinton-Dix, a source confirmed Thursday to Alabama Media Group.
The story was first reported by The Tuscaloosa News.
UA's compliance department also discovered that Harris had a connection to a representative of a sports agent. Clinton-Dix, who was suspended indefinitely for "violation of team rules"Wednesday, had no contact with the agent's representative.
The loan that Harris provided to Clinton-Dix, who provided bank records to show that he had repaid Harris, totaled less than $500.
Per NCAA bylaw 220.127.116.11, employees are not permitted to provide cash or loans of any sort to student-athletes because it is considered to be an impermissible benefit.
ESPN.com, citing an anonymous source, reports Clinton-Dix is the only player involved and is expected to be eligible to play "within the month."
Two NCAA compliance experts told Alabama Media Group that Clinton-Dix's penalty likely will be minor.
"It is certainly a serious issue, and Alabama is acting correctly in how they've addressed it so far," said Dr. David Ridpath, an associate professor of sports administration at Ohio University. "I think the fact that he's already paid the money back is probably going to be seen as a mitigating circumstance. I'm just not sure the NCAA has a leg to stand on there in terms of penalizing him for a long period of time."
Saban did not provide details about the nature of Clinton-Dix's suspension at his Wednesday press conference. He is scheduled to speak on his weekly radio show, "Hey, Coach!" at 7 p.m. CDT.
Clinton-Dix, a third-year junior, is considered to be one of the nation's best safeties and has been projected as a potential first-round pick in the 2014 NFL Draft. On the season, he's second on the team with 24 tackles and also has two pass deflections. He led Alabama with five interceptions during his sophomore year.
Harris, a former assistant coach at Stanhope Elmore High in Millbrook, is one of nine assistant strength and conditioning coaches employed by the University of Alabama. Heattended the 2013 NFL Draft with former Alabama cornerback Dee Milliner, whom Harris coached in high school.
Attempts by Alabama Media Group to reach Harris have been unsuccessful.
In 2010, star defensive lineman Marcell Dareus was suspended for two games when it was discovered he received $1,787.17 worth of improper benefits from an agent. The suspension was initially four games, but the NCAA reduced it to two because of "mitigating circumstances." Less than two months elapsed in between the initial story about Dareus' improper benefits and the resolution.
In September, Yahoo! Sports reported that former Alabama offensive lineman D.J. Fluker received improper benefits via Luther Davis -- a former Alabama defensive lineman -- throughout his Crimson Tide career. In a statement, Alabama athletics director Bill Battle said the school's review of the allegations was "ongoing."
Alabama Media Group's Matt Scalici also contributed to this report.