this Jan. 1, 2015, file photo, Alabama head coach Nick Saban
speaks to his players in the first half of the Sugar Bowl
NCAA college football playoff semifinal game against Ohio
State in New Orleans. Saban is expected to address the media
Monday, March 30, 2015, after two Crimson Tide players were
arrested in separate cases over the weekend. Defensive back
Geno Smith and defensive lineman Jonathan Taylor are facing
legal trouble again.
— Alabama coach Nick Saban steadfastly defended his signing of
defensive lineman Jonathan Taylor, who has now been kicked off his
second Southeastern Conference team for domestic violence arrests.
Taylor, who some
say should never had been on the team, was one of two Crimson Tide
players arrested over the weekend. Defensive back Geno Smith was
charged with the second DUI, including the second DUI of his
A defiant Saban
was unapologetic Monday about choosing to sign Taylor, who was
also dismissed from Georgia before signing with Alabama for
similar allegations of domestic violence.
sorry for giving him an opportunity," Saban said. "I'm
sorry for the way things worked out.
apologizing for the opportunity that we gave him. I wanted to try
to help the guy make it work. It didn't work. We're sorry that it
didn't work and we're sorry that there was an incident and we're
sorry for the people that were involved in the incident. But we're
not apologizing for what we did, and we're going to continue to
try to create opportunities in the future."
Brown, founder of the National Coalition Against Violent Athletes,
said when Alabama signed Taylor in January, she thought it was
"a huge mistake" for the message it sent to teammates
and to Taylor and because it opens the school up to a Title IX
this Monday, March 23, 2015 photo, Alabama defensive lineman
Jonathan Taylor (53) participates in spring football
practice in Tuscaloosa, Ala. Taylor was dismissed from the
football team after his arrest over the weekend.
Saban said on
national signing day in February that the lineman "was the
kind of guy that deserved a second chance." He said he had
spoken to Taylor's high school and junior college coaches, but
Georgia's Mark Richt and Athens-Clarke County district attorney
Ken Mauldin have indicated that Saban didn't contact them.
anybody says, we think this guy deserves a second chance, what
qualifies him to say that?" Brown said. "If you're not
talking to the prosecutor and you're not talking to the coach,
what qualifies him to say what this guy deserves or not?
qualifies as a mistake? If he beat up (Saban's) daughter and
grabbed her by the throat, would that be a mistake? That is the
crux of the issue."
short Monday of saying he wouldn't recruit another player who had
been previously involved in a domestic abuse case. But he added,
"We would certainly be very cautious about any player that
had any kind of character problem, but especially something like
with the Tide months after his dismissal from Georgia and was
arrested Saturday. The case in Georgia is still pending.
Saban said Taylor
knew he was signed under a "zero tolerance policy." His
case has been referred to the university's judicial affairs,
according to school spokeswoman Deborah Lane.
The coach said
Taylor had been undergoing counseling without missing a session.
"He was in
those programs, and it didn't work," Saban said.
interim director of the Alabama Coalition Against Domestic
Violence, praised Saban for taking swift action in removing Taylor
for the team but said it's not typically a crime committed only
violence is a learned behavior, it's a cycle of violence and
control," Carr said. "In 21 years, I've never known it
to happen just one time."
Taylor has been
charged with domestic violence third-degree assault and domestic
violence third-degree criminal mischief, Tuscaloosa police said.
335-pound lineman was dismissed from Georgia in July 2014
following his arrest on aggravated assault and family violence
charges for allegedly punching and choking his girlfriend.
It is unclear if
the incidents involved the same woman.
Taylor also was
among four Georgia football players arrested in March 2014 for
receiving double payments for checks of $71.50 issued by the
school's athletic department.
He played last
season at Copiah-Lincoln Community College in Mississippi.
the team before Monday's practice, talking about Taylor's
dismissal and domestic violence.
Though Taylor was
signed with a history of domestic violence, center Ryan Kelly
said: "There's a standard that coach Saban and this
university hold us to, and that's just something that we don't
stand for here."
director Bill Battle said in a statement Sunday that Taylor had
received "extensive efforts to assist him."
"All of us
hope that Jonathan and the young lady involved can deal
constructively with the issues that led to this situation, and
their aftermath, so that both of them can have productive, healthy
futures," he said.
A spokesman said
Battle was not immediately available for further comment on
was arrested on a charge of driving under the influence of alcohol
Saturday for the second time in his career. Saban said he would be
subject to unspecified disciplinary action but that he didn't
consider dismissing him from the team, and he never has for a
second offense with drugs or alcohol.
Smith hasn't been
allowed to practice this week.
Alabama had also
re-signed defensive lineman D.J. Pettway out of a junior college
last year, 10 months after the school dismissed him. Pettway was
kicked off the team after he and three other Crimson Tide players
were charged with robbery in Tuscaloosa, but he apparently has
steered clear of further trouble since returning from junior