Alabama offensive lineman Alphonse Taylor was found not guilty Tuesday on charges of DUI and leaving the scene of an accident stemming from a July arrest.
Aaron Suttles of the Tuscaloosa News first reported the news. Alex Byington of the Times Daily confirmed the update through Taylor’s attorney.
Alabama football coach Nick Saban suspended Taylor indefinitely following the arrest, per ESPN.com.
“I would like to look at what we’re doing with Alphonse Taylor not as a punishment but as a treatment of what we need to do help him be a better player, to be a better person, to make better choices and decisions in the future,” Saban said in July.
Taylor posted a message on social media after the arrest and suspension:
A later report from TideSports.com noted that records showed Taylor tested negative for alcohol after calling Tuscaloosa Police to report he struck a car in a parking lot. The responding officer said he performed poorly on the field sobriety tests, but the lineman said he was fatigued and had bumped his head on the steering wheel.
“We are very happy with this ruling and hope that he will now have the opportunity to move forward with his football career,” Taylor’s lawyer, Jason Neff, told Matt Zenitz of AL.com.
Taylor’s role with the Crimson Tide was already in question before the arrest, though. Marq Burnett of SEC Country noted Saban had demoted the preseason All-SEC second-team selection to a reserve while he battled through weight issues during the spring.
For now, his availability for the start of the new season remains unclear. Alabama is set to open the campaign Saturday night with a high-profile clash against USC. Ross Pierschbacher is expected to start at right guard for the time being.
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