Alabama head coach Nick Saban commented on Alphonse Taylor’s DUI and suspension.
After announcing on Monday that offensive lineman Alphonse Taylor was indefinitely suspended from the team following a DUI charge, Alabama head coach Nick Saban spoke about the difference between Taylor’s situation and that of Cam Robinson and Hootie Jones. Robinson and Jones were arrested of drug and weapon charges earlier this year, but have since had the charges dropped by the state attorney and remain on the team.
“I think when you have a DUI, what makes it significantly different is you’ve put other people in danger by the choices you have made and the decision you made,” Saban said on ESPN. “So that, to me, is a little more serious in terms of what we need to do. I would like to look at what we’re doing with Alphonse Taylor, not as a punishment, but as a treatment of what we need to do help him be a better player, to be a better person, to make better choices and decisions in the future. And I think that will help him the most.”
It is interesting that Saban mentions making Taylor a “better player.” The phrasing could be a tip-off that the senior might work his way back onto the team for the 2016 season.
Saban doubled down on the two situations being different, explaining that as a coach, he handles every case individually.
“I think those circumstances are completely different and I think the statement that I made about when you chose to do this and you put other people at risk, that makes it in a different category and that’s why this situation is being treated differently,” Saban said. “But we treat every situation differently with the players based on their history, what they’ve done and the facts. I would hope that people think that, as coaches, we don’t make these decisions based on winning games, which I think we sometimes get criticized for. We make these decisions based on what’s best for the players and their future and what we can do to help them so they have a better chance to be successful in life.”
Taylor started all 15 games for the Crimson Tide last season, helping an offensive line that paved the way for Heisman Trophy winner Derrick Henry and lead the Tide to a national championship.