Nick Saban questioned by radio show caller on TJ Finley arrest, how he would go about it

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Nick Saban’s weekly radio show is billed as an opportunity for fans to call and ask the Alabama coach questions, but in recent years most of the questions have come from host Eli Gold or his rotating co-host.

Saban’s first “Hey Coach” show of the 2022 season on Thursday night rolled back the clock, with five questions from callers on the phone.

One of the questions came from “Dorothy in Huntsville” and was on the subject of player discipline and Auburn quarterback TJ Finley.

Parts of the question weren’t clearly audible, but the caller made reference to ‘starting quarterback Finley’ and his arrest by Auburn police last month for trying to evade police . This followed an earlier traffic violation in which Finley was cited for failing to wear a helmet while riding a moped.

Finley’s charge was dealt with in city court and he practiced the day after his arrest. On Sunday, Auburn named Finley its starter for Saturday’s opener against Mercer.

“How would you handle that? the caller asked Saban.

There was some initial confusion over the issue, and host Chris Stewart noted that it was an incident with a player at another school. “What was?” Saban replied, prompting Stewart to ask a more general question about handling underage player conflicts with law enforcement.

“I think each issue should be dealt with individually,” Saban said. “I obviously think when players put other people at risk and put them at risk, like – you’ve heard me talk about guys who have DUIs before. When you decide to drive and drink, you not only put yourself in danger, but you also put a lot of other people in danger.

“So the seriousness of something like that is a lot more – I mean, it’s a bigger problem, has a lot more consequences for a player than if he’s just riding a moped and has no helmet and gets wrecked and injured. Well, there were a lot of bad choices and bad decisions in all of this, but did he really put anyone else in danger?

“So I think each of those things are dealt with on an individual basis. But one of the things I always really stress about with players is when you’re disrespecting other people or not having enough respect for them in terms of how you affect their safety. , this is something that is quite important in terms of how we would sort of deal with it.

Alabama’s most recent incident involving a player and a DUI came in August 2021 when linebacker Quandarrius Robinson was arrested following a shipwreck in Tuscaloosa. Saban has suspended second grade indefinitely while offering a counseling program. He returned after two games, with Saban saying, “It was our goal to suspend a guy for two games, which we did. … He did everything we asked him to do, so we allowed him to come back for this game.

In February, Alabama defensive coordinator Pete Golding was arrested for impaired driving by Northport police. Golding spoke to reporters last month about his arrest and his fallout, although neither Saban nor the school announced any disciplinary action against the coach.

Mike Rodak is a Beat Alabama reporter for Alabama Media Group. Follow him on Twitter @mikerodak.

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