Nick Saban

Alabama Football Presser Speech on Second Chances

delivered 20 December 2014


[AUTHENTICITY CERTIFIED: Text version below transcribed directly from audio]

Question: Just want to ask you about how you feel about  D.J. Pettway's play this year. And also, I guess, you know, he got his degree recently. How gratifying is it for --  to see him to, you know, make -- make the most of his second chance back with you guys.

Coach Saban: Well, you know, I -- I think, you know, he's done a really good job. D.J.'s done a really good job for us all year long. He's a hard worker. He's certainly been productive for us in the games. He's provided a lot of depth for us. He's been a starter at times. He gives us something in pass rush that -- we don't have enough guys that can do that, you know, some of the bigger guys we have to play with on run downs. He comes in and plays a real critical role for us.

You know, I think sometimes players don't understand how important roles are. You got a guy that plays a role in a passing situation or you got a guy that's a 6th DB [defensive back] or whatever. Alright. And all of a sudden they don't -- that's a critical role, you know. It's a critical role to get off the field on third down.

But yet -- just like a "middle reliever" or a "closer" -- that's not a starting pitcher. Guy may only pitch to three batters, but that's a critical role because you're finishing the game. It's a critical part of the game. And I think sometimes I appreciate those kind of guys a lot more on the team then they even appreciate themselves, alright, because they always want play more. Alright.

But D.J.'s really done a good job with that and he's -- he's contributed and done everything we've asked him to do, every way we've asked him to do it, and never been anything but positive about doing it. Alright.

And it was, you know, really, really good for me and I think some of our administrators around here, alright, who -- our president, who shakes hands with all of our players when they walk across the stage and graduate -- when we give somebody a second chance, and they do well and graduate from school.

You know, there -- there's always a lot of criticism out there. When somebody does something wrong everybody wants to know how you going to punish the guy. Alright. But there's not enough, for nineteen and twenty-year-old kids, people out there saying, "Why don't you give him another chance." Alright?

So I'm going to give a speech right now about this, like: Where do you want him to be? Guy makes a mistake. But where -- where do you want him to be? Do you want him to be in the street? Or do you want him to be here, graduating?

You know, when I was over there at the [inaudible at 2:47], Muhsin Muhammad, who played fifteen years for the Carolina Panthers, played for me at Michigan State. Everybody in the school, every newspaper guy, everybody was killing the guy 'cause he got in trouble and said there's no way he should be on our team.

I didn't kick him off the team. I suspended him. I made him do stuff. He graduated from Michigan State. He played fifteen years in the league. Alright. He's a president of a company now. And he has seven children; and his oldest daughter goes to Princeton.

So who was right?!

I feel strong about this now, really strong, alright, about all the criticism out there of every guy that's nineteen years old that makes a mistake. And you all kill him.

And then some people won't stand up for him.

So my question to you is: Where do you want him to be? You want to condemn him to a life sentence or do you want the guy to have his children going to Princeton?

Page Updated: 8/28/19

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