NEW ORLEANS, LA – JANUARY 09: Head coach Nick Saban of the Alabama Crimson Tide takes the field before playing against the Louisiana State University Tigers in the 2012 Allstate BCS National Championship Game at Mercedes-Benz Superdome on January 9, 2012 in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

TUSCALOOSA, AL — Kickoff for the 2017 college football season is still more than a month away, but the Alabama Crimson Tide’s defense of their national championship is off to a great start after Tuscaloosa County District Attorney Melvin T. Peacotte today that all current and future charges against Alabama football players will be dropped.

“I just think these great young men have a target on their backs due to their success and impeccable character,” said Peacotte. “We as a community need to remember all they do for us on the field and not insist on focusing on the few, random missteps they may make off of it.”

The announcement means that Alabama will open the season with three starting offensive lineman, two receivers, three linebackers, one nose tackle and a punter in uniform. All ten were facing serious charges and extended jail time. More than a dozen backups were also being investigated. All Crimson Tide players charged this weekend will also be set free.

Head coach Nick Saban said he is content with the decision of the district attorney and will not suspend his players.

“They weren’t charged with anything, so how is it fair for me to punish them? For what?” he said. “I run a clean program here and I’m proud of it. This is the only program in the country that can guarantee it won’t have a single player convicted of a crime for all of the future. Yet I still have critics? Give me a break.”

Alabama also announced today that they have received a letter of intent from a five-star quarterback in the 2019 class that is being questioned in a serial killing.