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Alabama head coach Nick Saban did not mince words Monday when discussing the recent arrest of freshman defensive back Tony Mitchell. Whether you want to call it a subtle shot at Crimson Tide basketball coach Nate Oats is up to you, but as history has proven, Saban is not the subtle type.
Four-star defensive back Tony Mitchell was arrested in Florida last Wednesday, charged with possession of marijuana with intent to sell and/or deliver. (It was later learned Mitchell drove 141 mph trying to elude police before his arrest.) On Monday, Nick Saban met with the media following Alabama’s first spring practice of 2023.
Saban then announced Mitchell would be suspended from team activities until the school gathers more information. And it was how Saban phrased it that caught the attention of folks around the country.
“Everybody’s got an opportunity to make choices and decisions. There’s no such thing as being in the wrong place at the wrong time,” Saban said. “You have to be responsible about who you’re with, who you’re around, what you do and who you associate yourself with, along with the situations you put yourself in.”
“It is what it is, but there is cause and effect when you make choices and decisions that put you in bad situations.”
(Listen for yourself. Saban’s comments on Mitchell come around the 1:10 mark.)
Nate Oats Apologizes For ‘Wrong Place, Wrong Time’
If the phrase ‘wrong place, wrong time’ sounds familiar, it should. Following the testimony in a Tuscaloosa court on Feb. 21, it was the first time we had heard basketball player Brandon Miller’s name mentioned with the tragic shooting that took place in Tuscaloosa.
Speaking with the media following Alabama’s morning practice, coach Nate Oats took to the podium and tried to let everyone know that he had a hold of the situation. During his presser, Oats pointed out that the school had known about the individuals involved in the fatal incident in January. While discussing the incident, Oats decided to use a very poor choice of words.
“We knew about that. Can’t control everything anybody does outside of practice,” Oats said at the time. “Nobody knew that was going to happen. College kids are out, Brandon hasn’t been in any type of trouble nor is he in any type of trouble in this case. Wrong spot at the wrong time.”
The quote caught fire nationally, leading Oats to apologize for his words, which would turn out to be the first of two apologies regarding Brandon Miller.
Would Nick Saban Actually Take A Subtle Shot At Nate Oats?
We were all wondering when Nick Saban would potentially have to punish a player for something done off the field. (He infamously passed on punishment for the Jermaine Burton incident last fall.) As history proves, Nick Saban is not the type of coach to mince words, so today was most likely Nick Saban acting like his regular self. If his choice of words cause a problem, so be it.
This will certainly be talked about around campus, and around the country. Now, Tony Mitchell was arrested for marijuana possession, while Brandon Miller has not been charged with any type of crime. So obviously we’re dealing with two types of situations here.
But it should be noted how the Alabama football coach decided to characterize the suspension of Tony Mitchell. Meanwhile folks continue to argue about how the communications department at Alabama has failed the Brandon Miller situation.
If you’re wondering if Saban’s words will cause any type of backlash inside the Alabama athletic department, they might. But either way, Nick Saban doesn’t care.
4 CommentsLeave a Reply
Saban wouldn’t take a cheap shot at Oats. That would be awfully petty and disloyal to a fellow Bama coach. His wording was unintentional, in my opinion.
So he is suspended until the 1st game or so. Saban has proven over and over again that he will play anyone no matter what they have done to win.
Sounds like a dig to me, but not sure he earned that right.
Nick had the chance to take the higher ground, and blew it, when he failed to do the right thing in regards to Jermaine Burton.