Nick Saban dismisses linebacker VanDarius Cowan from Tide team

Nick Saban dismisses linebacker VanDarius Cowan from Tide team

July 10th, 2018 by David Paschall in Sports - College

Alabama sophomore inside linebacker VanDarius Cowan, shown here making a tackle in the A-Day game, was dismissed from the team Monday by coach Nick Saban.

Photo by Contributed Photo /Times Free Press.

Alabama sophomore inside linebacker VanDarius Cowan is no longer on the team following a recent arrest on a third-degree assault charge.

The 6-foot-4, 236-pound Cowan played in seven games last season, beginning with the 45-7 win over Tennessee. He played in each of the Crimson Tide's remaining games against LSU, Mississippi State, Mercer, Auburn, Clemson and Georgia, registering a quarterback hurry against LSU and two tackles against Mercer.

"VanDarius has been dismissed from the team and is no longer a part of our football program due to a violation of team rules," Alabama coach Nick Saban announced Monday through a released statement. "Each of us has a responsibility to represent the University of Alabama in a first-class way, and failure to meet those standards can't be tolerated. We wish VanDarius the very best in the future."

The Tuscaloosa News reported that Cowan was arrested last week and charged with assault as a result of a June 23 incident at a Tuscaloosa bar in which he punched a 26-year-old man in the face. The man required seven stitches for his lip and suffered a broken tooth.

Cowan was a top-100 national prospect in the 2017 signing class out of Palm Beach Gardens, Florida, according to, and, with listing him as a five-star prospect and the No. 35 recruit nationally. He was on track to redshirt last season but was thrust into action because of multiple injuries at linebacker.

Saban announced this spring that Cowan had to miss a couple of practices due to academics. He worked most of spring as a third-team inside linebacker.

Contact David Paschall at or 423-757-6524.