Andy Staples makes an excellent point about Saban’s notorious dust-up with PAWWWLLL at SEC Media Days.
If you think Saban, later caught on video having two separate animated conversations with Finebaum, lost control, then you haven’t been watching him very long. All of it was calculated, as is almost anything Saban does when a camera is trained on him. Yes, he is a control freak. He’ll admit as much. Yes, he believes he’s correct whenever he’s challenged by a media member or anyone else. He may not admit that, but it’s fairly obvious. But Saban wasn’t talking to Finebaum or to the viewers of the segment. Every reason Saban gave to explain why Robinson and Jones could miss no playing time was a message to players and recruits. The fact that the clip has received so much attention only played into Saban’s hands. When they speak to recruits now, Alabama assistants can point to that segment and ask the following: Do you see how much coach has his players’ backs? As it turns out, Saban, Finebaum and Finebaum’s employer all got exactly what each wanted out of that particular bit of theater.
Saban wanted that question from Finebaum—or someone—so he could raise questions about the legitimacy of the arrests, which came after a Monroe, La., officer smelled marijuana and approached a parked car containing Robinson, Jones and two other men…
The other benefit to that public exchange is that it wound up sucking all the oxygen out of the tent when another ‘Bama offensive lineman wound up on the wrong side of the law just a few days later. The difference in the second case is that Alphonse Taylor was promptly kicked to the curb by Mr. Spontaneity.
Alabama offensive lineman Alphonse Taylor has been “indefinitely suspended,” coach Nick Saban announced in a statement Monday afternoon.
The redshirt senior was arrested Sunday and charged with driving under the influence.
In addition, Taylor left the scene of an accident, according to Tuscaloosa Police Department spokeswoman Lt. Teena Richardson.
“We are very disappointed any time a player makes a choice that leads to this kind of behavior,” Saban said. “We are still in the process of gathering all of the details on the situation, but from a football standpoint, Alphonse Taylor has been indefinitely suspended from the team.”
Ah, a little righteous indignation is good for the soul. Hey — you don’t suppose Saban’s decision wasn’t about that, but, say, something a little more calculating, do you?
The preseason second-team All-SEC selection was already in Saban’s doghouse because of weight- and conditioning-related issues.
After starting all 15 games at right guard last season, Taylor was relegated to working with the second-team offense throughout the spring.
Saban said following the Tide’s spring game of Taylor, “He’s going to continue to be on the second team if he doesn’t get his weight down and get in shape.”
It’s unclear how much progress the 6-foot-5 Taylor has made with his weight and conditioning.
Not enough, evidently.
It’s just bad luck Taylor got arrested in Tuscaloosa, where the cops’ loyalty can’t be questioned.