Police officers who arrested two Alabama players in May in Monroe, La., were not motivated by their support for other SEC football programs, a spokesman for the Monroe Police Department said in response to a theory put forth by Alabama coach Nick Saban.
SEC Network host Paul Finebaum told reporters on Wednesday at SEC Media Days that during a heated off-air exchange with Saban, the coach alleged that the arresting officers of All-SEC left tackle Cameron Robinson and backup defensive back Laurence “Hootie” Jones were LSU fans. Glenn Guilbeau of theadvertiser.com took Saban’s accusation to Chris Bates, Monroe Police public information officer.
“I can tell you for a fact that the first officer on the scene is not an LSU fan,” Bates said. “He hates LSU. He doesn’t like the color yellow or purple and gold. In fact, he’s a Florida fan. If you mention LSU around him, he throws up in his mouth. Most of our officers are LSU fans, but we have some who are Arkansas fans and Georgia fans and Alabama fans. And I’ll tell you this, the first officer did not even know those guys were players.”
Bates said the players attracted the attention of police at 1:30 a.m. when they were spotted sitting in a car in the park, which was closed at the time.
“They were in plain view,” Bates said. “Our officer was doing his job. They were not supposed to be there. He called for backup, and the other officers arrived and made the arrest. We enforce the law based on the law.”
Saban and Finebaum reportedly argued off-air after Finebaum challenged the coach about his decision not to suspend either player. Saban defended his decision saying charges against both players were dropped and both were actively changing their habits and working to help others in the community. Robinson was initially charged with a felony charge of possession of a stolen gun and misdemeanor possession of marijuana. Jones was initially charged with misdemeanor weapon and marijuana violations.