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Saban: Jones, Ingram's status up to the NCAA

Posted by ESPN.com's Chris Low

The Julio Jones and Mark Ingram watch continues, and you could almost hear the frustration in Alabama coach Nick Saban's voice when he was asked about it Wednesday on the SEC teleconference.

Saban said it wouldn't be his decision as to whether Jones and Ingram would be allowed to play Saturday night against Virginia Tech.

"I think that's up to the NCAA. I don't think it's my decision to do anything," said Saban, adding that he remains hopeful there will be some resolution prior to the game.

"We are hoping for a response, and we want to do what we need to do to do things the right way from a program standpoint and for the players' best interest. I think the institution has handled the situation with tremendous professional integrity. We're hopeful that we'll have some kind of resolution to this situation in the short term."

If there is no word from the NCAA prior to the game, Saban wouldn't get into how the Crimson Tide might adjust without two of its best offensive players.

"I'm not really into speculating on what might be," Saban said. "I've got enough problems with what is. Let's just focus on what is."

At issue is a Gulf Coast fishing trip Jones and Ingram took last spring with a 56-year-old man from Athens, Ala., whom Alabama compliance officials have determined was not a Crimson Tide booster. Alabama spent the summer investigating the matter and has met with NCAA enforcement representatives.

So why the delay when Alabama hasn't self-reported anything at this point?

That's the frustrating and unnerving part for the Crimson Tide, who've obviously been around the block a few times with the NCAA over the past two decades.