Inside linebacker Vandarius Cowan, projected to be a contender for playing time in 2018, continues to sit out spring practice, a development which UA head coach Nick Saban explained in his Tuesday press conference.

“Vandarius Cowan has not been at practice for the last two days,” Saban said.

“I’m not going to be specific here but we have rules about academics,” Saban said. “We check on guys as far as what they are supposed to do. We define the standard of expectation we have for class attendance, tutors, study table…and when guys do not do things to the standard created for all players here, they can’t practice or play until they get it right.”

Cowan, a 6-foot-4, 236-pound sophomore from Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., appeared in seven games last season including both of the Crimson Tide’s post-season contests. He recorded two tackles in UA’s win over Mercer. He was projected as a likely backup to junior Mack Wilson and sophomore Dylan Moses at the inside linebacker position this fall.

“From an academic standpoint, that’s what the players are here to do,” Saban said. “When a player is not doing that, and we have to take something away to try and shape that behavior, that’s what we do.”

Saban added that Cowan was “making good progress” off the field and that there was a possibility that he could return to the practice field soon.