AP: NCAA clears Alabama’s Jones, Ingram to play

Fans of the Alabama Crimson Tide are happier tonight than earlier in the week. Why? From the AP story: No. 5 Alabama will have two of its key offensive players for the opener Saturday night against No. 7 Virginia Tech.

The NCAA reinstated receiver Julio Jones and tailback Mark Ingram on Wednesday on the condition that they repay the cost of a Gulf Coast fishing trip paid for by businessman Curtis Anderson during the spring. An Alabama spokesman said the money had been paid to charity.

“According to the facts of the case submitted by Alabama, the student-athletes received impermissible food, lodging, transportation and entertainment from an individual with whom one of the student-athletes had become acquainted prior to enrolling in college,” the NCAA said in a statement.

“Consistent with NCAA membership requirements, the institution reported the violation and declared the student-athletes ineligible. As part of the reinstatement request, the institution required the student-athletes to make repayment of the value of the impermissible benefits to charity.” …

“We are gratified that this matter has been resolved,” Alabama athletic director Mal Moore said. “Our compliance department, the SEC and the NCAA worked closely throughout this process and we appreciate the professional manner in which it was handled.”