Notes Prior to Virginia Tech Game

Jerrell Harris

ATLANTA--Prior to the kickoff of the Alabama-Virginia Tech game Saturday night in the Chick-fil-A College Kickoff game, Crimson Tide officials announced that linebacker Jerrell Harris has been declared ineligible. The announcement said:



"The University of Alabama has declared sophomore linebacker Jerrell Harris ineligible pending a reinstatement decision by the NCAA regarding a violation of team and NCAA rules. The duration of Harris' ineligibility has not been determined."

Although The University has not given the reason for Harris' suspension, it is thought to be related to the player's possession of a laptop computer. At least one source close to the situation has indicated that Harris has not cooperated fully in the investigation. The Harris situation is not related to the recent suspensions and reinstatements of Tide star wide receiver Julio Jones and top running back Mark Ingram.

This is the second consecutive year for Alabama to open the season at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta. Last year Alabama, which was ranked 23rd in the nation in pre-season polls, defeated Clemson, 34-10. Clemson had been ranked in the nation. Bama eventually moved up to number one in the nation.

The Crimson Tide will not make a third straight appearance in the Kickoff Game. Next year Alabama opens the season and expanded Bryant-Denny Stadium against San Jose State in Tuscaloosa. Bryant-Denny will exceed 100,000 capacity when completed prior to the 2010 season.

Alabama has a 10-1 advantage in games against Virginia Tech going into the Chick-fil-A game. The Hokies, however, won the last meeting , a 38-7 win over Bama in the Music City Bowl in Nashville at the conclusion of the 1998 season.

Alabama was not limited in the number of players it could bring to the Kickoff game and brought well over 100 players. Bama, which was in white uniforms for the game, will have travel squad limitations for Southeastern Conference games.

Among the players dressed and working in pre-game warm-ups was defensive end Brandon Deaderick, who was shot and wounded by a would-be robber last week. His left arm was heavily bandadged Saturday night.

The Atlanta Falcons made final roster cuts Saturday and former Alabama quarterback John Parker Wilson is among the 53 men on the team. The Falcons cut former Georgia quarterback D.J. Shockley in order to keep Wilson, a rookie.

Alabama opens the season ranked fifth in the nation. Virginia Tech is seventh. The Hokies are favored to win the Atlantic Coast Conference championship. Alabama is a shaky favorite to win the Southeastern Conference Western Division, but defending national champion Florida is the overwhelming pick to win the SEC title.

This is Alabama's 115th year of football. It is Head Coach Nick Saban's third year. He is the 27th coach in Bama history.

There were pre-game reports that the bus transporting the Million Dollar Band to the game had been involved in a minor traffic accident. The band looked strong and healthy in its pre-game program. There was no group of bandaged, crutch-carrying fife and drummers playing "Yankee Doodle Dandy."

Alabama opens the home season next Saturday when the Crimson Tide hosts the Florida International Panthers at 6 p.m. CDT in Bryant-Denny Stadium. The only television will be a pay-per-view basis.

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