Alabama coach Nick Saban has yet to announce any public discipline for Crimson Tide offensive lineman Cam Robinson and defensive back Laurence “Hootie” Jones after the players were arrested in May, and charged with marijuana possession and carrying a weapon in the presence of a controlled substance.
Robinson was also charged with a felony after a handgun, that was reported stolen in Baldwin County, Ala., was found under his seat during the arrest. Jones and Robinson are scheduled to appear in court Thursday, but after the legal process concludes, Saban won’t be shy about giving them a second chance if they have earned it in his eyes.
“I think that we all kind of live and learn,” Saban said, according to a report from USA Today’s George Schroeder. “There’s one thing giving a guy a second chance. That’s completely different than making somebody be responsible for their own self-determination. In other words, they’ve got to be accountable for their actions. There’s two different things here. And you make decisions and determinations about whether you give a second chances as to whether you can trust and believe in them based on their history.
“We do a lot of things internally with our players, which we have implemented with Cam, to try to change behavior in a positive way if we feel there’s issues. We have never had any issues with Cam before this, so this is kind of an unusual circumstance.”
Saban has been willing to give players a mulligan after disciplinary actions in the past, but it has not always worked out. The most notable case came with former defensive lineman Jonathan Taylor, who transferred to the Crimson Tide after his dismissal from UGA after a domestic violence arrest. Taylor was subsequently kicked out of the Alabama program after another domestic violence accusation, although the accuser later recanted her claim.
Still, Saban believes there is value in providing second chances.
“Look, I’ve been right about that a bunch of times, but I’ve been wrong about it sometimes, too,” Saban told USA Today. “And I think we all want to be more careful about that.
“I know you can just look at the glass half-empty, but if you ever take a chance at looking at it half-full, there’s a lot more guys that are having success because they got a chance, they got an opportunity, somebody was willing to give them a chance. There’s a lot more of those.”