TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — If you watched Alabama’s big win over Tennessee last Saturday, you likely saw Crimson Tide running back Bo Scarbrough have a brief interaction with a Tennessee fan.
At the end of his 85-yard touchdown run, Scarbrough put his hand in the face of a Tennessee fan in the stands of Neyland Stadium.
Alabama coach Nick Saban was not happy with Scarbrough’s gesture.
“I did talk to him. I talked to the whole team about it,” Saban said Wednesday. “I don’t know what category you would put the conversation in. Whether it was a talking to, or we’ve talked about these elements of ass-chewings before. I don’t know where you would categorize that one.”
Bo Scarbrough put his hand right in front of this pissed off Tennessee fan's face ??? pic.twitter.com/SEi9jeQDaB
— Chris Kirschner (@ChrisKirschner) October 15, 2016
Following the game, Scarbrough tweeted that he was trying to high-five the fan.
Still, Saban said there was a bigger point behind his message to Scarbrough and the team. Saban implores the players to never interact with the opposing team or the crowd.
“Look, that’s a young kid that needs people to look up to in the world,” Saban said. “He needs sports figures that he can sort of have some admiration for the way they carry themselves, the example that they set and the things that they do. That was not an action that actually contributed to that in anyway. It’s not how we want our players to represent themselves, their family or the program.”
In a separate response about Scarbrough’s progress this season, Saban did compliment Scarbrough for his play on the field. Scarbrough earned the first start of his career at Tennessee. He rushed for 105 yards and a touchdown on just 5 carries (21.8 yards per carry).
Scarbrough has rushed for 273 yards and 5 touchdowns on the season.
“I think Bo has gotten better and better every week,” Saban said. “I think he’s playing with more and more confidence. Probably has a little better understanding of what’s expected of him, and he’s made some really good plays. I think that probably contributes to him feeling pretty good about the progress he’s making, the role he has and what he can contribute to the team. We’re happy with his development. We certainly need him. He’s got a lot of ability and hopefully he’ll continue to progress and play well for us.”