Nick Saban responds to having sent two players home

MIAMI GARDENS, Florida — A pair of Alabama players were sent home for a violation of team rules, and today, Tide coach Nick Saban said the penalty was a matter of understanding consequences.

The players were identified as freshman linebacker Dillon Lee and Ryan Anderson, according to published reports. The news was reported first Friday night by The Crimson White, the University of Alabama student newspaper.

The two players went home by bus. From Miami to Tuscaloosa is about 20 hours.

“I talk about being responsible for your own self-determination,” Saban said today. “We clearly define the expectations for every player. We also clearly define the consequences, if those expectations are not met. We also have a leadership group that I spoke with before, that I would never make a decision without, sort of, their stamp of approval.

“So, the combination of all of those things, it’s very, very difficult. If you have children of your own, and your children don’t meet your expectations, and you have to sort of, whatever it is you do to, sort of, whether it’s punishment or whatever, it’s probably more difficult for you to do sometimes than it is for them. I think that’s certainly the case in this situation.

“It’s more difficult for me to carry this out than it may be, even, for the players, because I love the players. I love the players on our team, and I don’t really ever want to do anything that hurts a player. But does this hurt a player, or does this help the player understand the consequences of not doing what’s been defined for you do to, because most of the time, when you have those rules or regulations, those consequences can be significant in your life. … So, maybe it helps them learn, and I’m hopeful, in this case, it’ll help these guys learn. That’s the only reason do to it.”

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