COMMENTARY: Nick Saban could learn a thing or two from Mel Tucker.
Following the Michigan State/Michigan game Saturday, a pair of Michigan players were attacked by multiple members of the MSU squad.
At one point, a Michigan State player could be seen appearing to use his helmet as a weapon. Well, Tucker dropped the hammer Sunday night and hit several players with suspensions.
Tank Brown, Khary Crump, Angelo Grose and Zion Young were all suspended “effective immediately” for their alleged role in the attack. Tucker also announced the program was “currently working with law enforcement” to get to the bottom of the situation.
Mel Tucker took a much firmer approach than Nick Saban
When video footage surfaced showing Michigan State players behaving in a violent and completely unacceptable manner, Tucker didn’t hesitate to punish them.
Now, let’s compare and contrast that with how Nick Saban handled Jermaine Burton hitting a defenseless woman from behind.
Instead of standing tall in front of the media and making it clear hitting women would never be tolerated, Saban chose to talk about how Burton was scared.
Even when more video footage came out, Saban didn’t do anything. At the very least, he hasn’t changed his tune as of October 31.
Now, some argue the extended video footage shows Burton might have initially been the victim. Others argue he was clearly looking for altercations.
Either way, the extended video footage has zero impact on the fact he hit a defenseless woman. Not only did he hit a defenseless woman, he turned around to do it. The woman had walked past him, he turned around and then hit her in the head.
Michigan State players attacked Michigan members who were in full pads. Mel Tucker suspended them before the weekend was over. He also made it clear it was now a police matter.
Jermaine Burton hit a woman who had no means of defending herself, and Nick Saban made excuses for him. There’s a serious argument to be made that what Jermaine Burton did is much worse given the full context of what we know.
Mel Tucker didn’t make excuses. He didn’t try to cook up some insane spin to the media. He stood tall and sent the message unacceptable behavior will not be tolerated. Saban chose to defend a player who hit a defenseless player and played him the very next week.
Nick Saban could learn a thing or two from his former assistant. All he had to do was stand up there and say Alabama football doesn’t tolerate hitting women, and he couldn’t even do the bare minimum.