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DL Pettway returns to Alabama

The SportsXchange

Defensive lineman D.J. Pettway re-signed with Alabama less than a year after he was dismissed from the program for his involvement in an off-the-field altercation, the school announced Friday.

Pettway will enroll at Alabama in January after playing for East Mississippi Community College in 2013.

Pettway was among four Crimson Tide players who were charged in alleged robberies in February in Tuscaloosa, Ala. Pettway was cleared by a judge after being arrested on two counts of robbery to play at East Mississippi, where he had 11 1/2 sacks and 47 tackles in winning junior-college All-American honors.

The charges are no longer pending against Pettway, Alabama spokeswoman Deborah Lane said.

The university said in a statement on Friday that Pettway must meet all requirements to enroll and finish his final two seasons of eligibility. The 6-foot-2, 285-pound Pettway played for the Crimson Tide during the 2011 and 2012 seasons.

"One of our primary points of emphasis in college athletics is to make every effort to help develop the total person," athletic director Bill Battle said in a statement. "As part of the University community, there is an obligation on the part of the student-athlete, the University and the Athletics Department in helping each person that represents us to reach their potential.

"On occasion, there are special circumstances that arise, particularly when a young person takes the first steps on their own to earn the privilege of attending our University. We treat every disciplinary case with care and sensitivity to all involved and we respect the University's procedures regarding punishment and readmission. We understand our responsibility, not only to the University and the student-athletes, but also to our community and our state."

Pettway's JUCO coach, Jordan Lesley, told al.com this week that Pettway caused no problems at East Mississippi.

"Not an ounce of trouble, not any issue off the field, in the classroom, campus, whatever. Not one single mishap," Lesley said. "A lot of times, kids will go a couple different ways with it. A lot of times, it's somebody else's fault. ... The first time I talked to him, he said, 'Coach, I made a mistake. That's really not me. I made a mistake. I'm going to learn from it. I've hurt a lot of people in my life and I've hurt the University of Alabama. I've hurt myself. What do I need to do?'"
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