Mark Edwards' In My Opinion: Alabama makes puzzling -- and wrong -- call on Pettway
by Mark Edwards
medwards@annistonstar.com
Dec 21, 2013 | 3286 views |  0 comments | 44 44 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Alabama is giving defensive lineman D.J. Pettway a second chance, and it’s hard to understand why.

It’s puzzling because he was kicked off the team 10 months ago, and typically, when someone is dismissed from a Nick Saban-coached team, he usually stays dismissed.

Pettway is the same guy who was kicked off the team in February after he was charged with two counts of second-degree robbery in two separate incidents. He was granted youthful offender status, which means his court records are sealed.

University spokeswoman Deborah Lane said in a statement released Friday the charges "are no longer pending." Also, Pettway isn’t the first SEC player to be accused of robbery and get a second chance. Examples: Cam Newton, from Florida to Auburn, and Nick Marshall, from Georgia to Auburn.

But even though Pettway’s court records are sealed, the arrest warrants issued in February aren’t, and they detail what he is accused of doing. It's enough to make most folks think twice about allowing him to return.

On Feb. 11, he and two former Alabama teammates, Eddie Williams and Tyler Hayes, allegedly attacked a student and took the student’s backpack. About an hour later in a university parking lot, Pettway waited in a car while Williams and Hayes allegedly beat another student unconscious. Williams took the student’s wallet.

After Pettway was dismissed from the team, he transferred to East Mississippi Community College, earned All-America honors and helped with an NJCAA championship.

Now, he has re-signed with Alabama and will return to campus. The same campus he allegedly assaulted another student and stood by while a second student was beaten.

Does Alabama really need Pettway on its team? Does he really deserve a second chance?

Why couldn’t Saban pass on him and sign another top defensive line prospect? What’s different now from 10 months ago?

Contact Anniston Star Sports Editor Mark Edwards at medwards@annistonstar.com. Twitter: @MarkSportsStar.
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