The story of the day is Tony Mitchell’s suspension as Alabama travels to Auburn this evening. This is what I wrote for today’s newspaper.
TUSCALOOSA — A day before facing its biggest rival, Alabama announced it will head to Auburn without its second-leading scorer.
Tony Mitchell, the high-flying junior swingman, was suspended indefinitely by coach Anthony Grant as the Crimson Tide readied for a trip to Auburn.
It was an “accumulation” of “conduct detrimental to the team” that led to the disciplinary action against Mitchell,” Grant said. The decision came Saturday night after Mitchell’s 14 point-night against Ole Miss was his best since the SEC opener against Georgia.
Coming off the bench for the first time this season, Mitchell scored six in the two overtime periods of the Tide’s 69-67 win.
This was the first suspension Grant handed down this season after sitting several starters in his first two seasons at Alabama. Senior JaMychal Green was one who missed action last year for disciplinary reasons.
Green spoke with Mitchell after the suspension and urged him not to do “anything dumb and stupid.” Mitchell’s 13.1-point scoring average trails only Green’s 13.8 a game.
“That was the main point of going to talk to him because I’ve been through it,” Green said. “I told him you can’t come back with a bad attitude. You have to come back with a new state of mind and just get better from it.”
The suspension marked another landmark in a season packed with highs and lows for the Swainsboro, Ga., product. He averaged 18 points in the opening four wins of the season and had reached double figures in 15 of the first 16 games.
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