Alabama coach Nick Saban won't suspend Da'Shawn Hand for DUI arrest

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -- Alabama coach Nick Saban said Thursday he would not suspend defensive lineman Da'Shawn Hand following his arrest for driving under the influence over the weekend, so long as he completed certain requirements such as community service and police ride-alongs.

Saban said Hand was put in 48-hour inpatient treatment for alcohol, and the team would continue to monitor his progress. Hand was at practice for the first day of preseason camp Thursday.

"Because he put himself in that situation, we'll give him community service and police ride around and some different things to help him," Saban said. "And if he does everything he's supposed to do, he will not be suspended. I think what we're doing is helping the player."

Hand was booked and charged early Saturday morning. According to The Tuscaloosa News, the senior from Virginia was asleep in his vehicle but was not driving at the time of the arrest.

A pretrial hearing is set for Sept. 18.

Saban made a point to say that the police were doing the right thing by arresting Hand but was quick to add that the "most significant thing" was that he didn't drive the vehicle and therefore didn't put anyone at risk.

According to Alabama state law, a person can receive a DUI charge even if they aren't operating the vehicle.

Even if Hand wasn't arrested, Saban said, the team would be following many of the same procedures with him.

"If he'd have drove the car, it would be a totally different circumstance. Even if he didn't get arrested. He put himself in that situation at 4:30 in the morning being in that condition, we would have sent him to do the same thing for his future safety and his future decision-making," Saban said.

Hand, a former five-star recruit, was a key reserve on Alabama's defense the past two seasons and was expected to take on a starting role following the departure of last year's Defensive Player of the Year, Jonathan Allen.

Hand had 21 tackles and two sacks last season.

Alabama opens the season on Sept. 2 against Florida State in Atlanta.