When you’re wrong, you’re wrong. SEC Network personality Paul Finebaum said he knows that.
On an appearance Monday on WJOX’s The Morning Drive in Birmingham, Finebaum — one of the SEC’s most polarizing personalities — apologized for his take on the recent DUI-related arrest of Alabama defensive lineman Da’Shawn Hand.
“I really believe Saban handled that extraordinarily well,” Finebaum said. “He was strong and measured. He made all the necessary points and in the end he came down with the right decision. And I say that fully aware that a week ago I had a different opinion, and so did many others.
“I think when we hear ‘driving under the influence’ we all react, and in my case I overreacted. And to Coach Saban’s credit, he made sure he had all the facts, which we didn’t. And he made the right decision, because you can quibble over the circumstances, but the bottom line is that Da’Shawn Hand was in a car that was not moving. Had he been moving, he would have been a tremendous threat to society. Where he was, fortunate or not, he was not. I think the judicial system will handle it accordingly and I think Saban handled it appropriately.”
It’s a turnaround from what Finebaum said recently about Saban’s disciplinary options for Hand, who was arrested July.
Saban confirmed that he will not suspend Hand, who is expected to be a key ingredient of the Alabama defense in 2017, but that he would discipline him.
“Da’Shawn put himself in a bad situation, obviously made a mistake being where he was at the time,” Saban said following practice Thursday, according to SEC Country’s Marq Burnett. “But the fact that he didn’t drive the car — which is what we tell the players not to do. It’s not OK with me that he was drinking, and that’s a behavioral issue that needs to be addressed and we will address it.
“But the fact that he didn’t drive the car, he did not put other people at risk — which is to me the most significant thing when you drive under the influence.”