By Stephanie Taylor
The Tuscaloosa News
University of Alabama sophomore linebacker VanDarius Cowan has been dismissed from the football team for a violation of team rules, according to an announcement Monday from the UA athletics department.
“VanDarius has been dismissed from the team and is no longer a part of our football program due to a violation of team rules,” Coach Nick Saban said in the statement Monday morning. “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.”
Cowan, 19, from Palm Beach Gardens, Florida, was projected to be a contender for playing time in 2018.
The dismissal comes less than a week after Tuscaloosa Police charged Cowan with misdemeanor assault. The statement did not address the arrest.
Cowan’s arrest was related to an incident at a Tuscaloosa bar last month.
Cowan was charged with third-degree assault, Tuscaloosa Police confirmed. He turned himself in Thursday and immediately posted $500 bond without having to go to jail, which isn’t uncommon for misdemeanor charges through TPD.
According to the police report, Cowan is accused of punching Jesse Ray, 26, in the face at High Tide bar off the Strip early on the morning of June 23.
Ray told The Tuscaloosa News that he was entering the bar as Cowan was leaving and said he did nothing to provoke him.
He said he drove himself to the emergency room at DCH Regional Medical Center where he was treated for a gash on his lip that required seven stitches. He has a broken tooth and nerve damage, he said.
Cowan missed part of Alabama’s spring practice while focusing on academics. He returned by the end of spring and participated in the A-Day game with the third string at inside linebacker.
He played in seven games as a true freshman in 2017. He finished the season with two tackles, both of which came in Alabama’s win against Mercer.