Nick Saban calls Alphonse Taylor's suspension 'treatment,' not punishment
Alabama coach Nick Saban was at the ESPN headquarters in Bristol, CT this morning for a live interview on SportsCenter and openly discussed the reasoning behind his decision to suspend offensive guard Alphonse Taylor indefinitely for his DUI over the weekend while opting not to do the same for Cam Robinson and Hootie Jones, who both were arrested (and acquitted) for drug/weapons charges.
“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. “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.”
Taylor, who started all 15 games for the Crimson Tide in 2015, was taken into custody by the Tuscaloosa Police Department on Sunday morning for driving under the influence. He was held on $1,000 bail, according to the Tuscaloosa County Sheriff’s Office.
Robinson (the team’s star left tackle) and Jones (a safety reserve) recently had their charges dropped after prosecutors claimed there was a lack of evidence. Initial charges listed for Robinson included possession of a controlled dangerous substance and illegal possession of stolen firearms. Jones was charged with possession of a controlled dangerous substance and the illegal carrying of a weapon.
Both were forced to commit several hours of community service, among other specialized services to make up for their poor decision-making. However, neither were suspended, which was met with some national criticism for Saban.
“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.”