Nick Saban issues statement after his NFL Draft comments angered former DB Ronnie Harrison
During his last press conference Thursday before Saturday’s A-Day Game, Nick Saban cleared the air after former Tide DB Ronnie Harrison took exception to his NFL Draft comments last Saturday.
Saban ended his press conference Thursday evening with the following statement.
“I’d just like to make one statement to make sure everybody understands who we are and what we do,” Saban said. “Our whole goal in this program is to help people be more successful in life. We support every player in every decision they make, regardless of what it is. We want to help them with all their decisions to have the best opportunity to be successful to create the most value for themselves and their future. Once any player decides what he’s going to do in any part of our program in any way, we’re going to support him in every way that we can. That’s what we’ve always done. I think our players pretty much understand that. We have a lot of players that come back here a lot; they’re very proud of what they were able to accomplish while they were here at the university, and they’re always welcomed back. That’s something that’s very important to us and very important to the program. So, thank you.”
On Sunday, Harrison took exception to his former coach’s comments regarding leaving school early to enter the NFL Draft. Harrison fired back rather harshly, although Saban never mentioned him by name.
“Now, we have guys that have no draft grades, seventh-round grades, free-agent grades, fifth-round grades that are going out to the draft. And the person that loses in that is the player,” Saban said Saturday in reference to players entering the NFL Draft early. “If you’re a third-round draft pick (Harrison was Alabama’s only third-round pick), and we had one here last year — I’m not going to say any names — goes and starts for his team, so he’s making third-round money, which is not that great. He’d be the first guy taken at his position this year, probably, and make $15-18 million more. So, the agent makes out, the club makes out, and now they’ve got a guy that is going to play for that kind of money for three more years, aight.”
Notice Saban didn’t say he regretted anything he said last weekend. His draft comments weren’t wrong, but they sure angered Harrison.