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Question: How Many Bama Fans Would Have Called For Due Process If Saban Had Acted Immediately?

hmmm-thinking-smiley-faceThis afternoon came news that Nick Saban and/or the University of Alabama had dismissed four football players arrested earlier this month for their involvement in a pair of violent on-campus robberies.  That news has once again stirred the blood since this site — and in particular this writer — initially called for two of the four accused to be dismissed immediately after their arrests.  (Those two players had already confessed to police that they had committed the crimes.)

I have seen many responses in our comment boxes and in my email box today that echo the responses I saw then: “What’s wrong with getting all the facts straight?”

Well, in my opinion, when a player confesses to a violent crime there are no more facts to get straight.  End of story, there’s the door.

But in reality, the majority of people who’ve taken me to task for my opinion — some of whom claimed I was leading a witch hunt or a lynch mob — have simply been defending Saban and Alabama.  I know it.  You know it, too.

And that’s the led me to wonder something…

If Saban had immediately dismissed the two players who had confessed to police, would the same people who criticized my opinion have sent us messages claiming Saban had led a witch hunt?  Would they have said, “Where’s the due process, Nick?”  “Why the rush to judgement, Coach Saban?”

I’m going to guess that the answer is no.  In fact, I’ll bet that some of those who chastised me would have praised Saban for running a tight ship, for taking no bull, etc, etc.

This wasn’t about finding justice for the accused, it was about defending Saban and Bama.  Do you really believe any school’s fans would shout so loudly for patience and due process — a legal term that has no bearing in this situation — if a rival school’s players had admitted to knocking two students unconscious?

Again, I think we all know the answer to that one.

In the end, the two players I believe should have been given the boot immediately have been tossed from Alabama’s team.  The other two players have also been given the heave-ho.  When the names Eddie Williams, Tyler Hayes, DJ Pettway, and Brent Calloway are mentioned moving forward, there will be an “Ex” before the words “Alabama football players.”

Considering their crimes, Bama got it right.  Regardless of timing.

 


36 comments
ChrisAllen1
ChrisAllen1

Burn 'em at the stake!  No, not the kids, because no one is talking about the proper punishment (jail) for what they did, they are all talking about a football coach in a legal and university related offense.  I feel sorry for the kids that were knocked out.  I went to school there and it is shocking to me.

BonzaiB
BonzaiB

Well, I surely hope that those who wanted Alabama to "do something right now" never have authority over me or mine. Yep, the two who admitted they did it got removed from the program. Two weeks after they would have been kicked out by those who wanted immediate action. What a "tragedy for justice." Everyone has an opinion, but if I was a student, or a parent, I think Bama's current admin goes up in my estimation. Not because they waited two weeks longer to give a couple of robbers the boot, but because they did not over react and took their time when there was time.

 

A tempest in a teapot at best. Since I don't know what was said behind closed doors at Bama, I have the option of trusting that due dilegence was done or that the delay was because of incompetence. Huh. What has the administration at Alabama done in the past that shows more of the latter than the former? Not much. Its not a perfect admin, but seems to get most of it right. So, I'll give the crew at Bama the courtesy of not thinking they are incompetent.

DaveinExile
DaveinExile

Accelerating the timetable accomplishes nothing for the university, the players, or even the victims. It just makes some newsreaders happy. And you know what? They are entitled to their opinions, but those opinions should probably not be driving the bus.

 

UA handled this perfectly and professionally.

AllTideUp
AllTideUp

What someone said in another thread is right on the money.  Dismissing the players who confessed immediately would only teach the others(and future offenders for that matter) that you shouldn't cooperate.  They might think, "admitting what you did only gets you a quicker rope."  It may seem like nice, swift justice, but it's not the wise way to handle the situation.  Waiting a mere 2 weeks to gather the facts on the whole situation and everyone involved sends the message that "if you do the crime, you do the time."  That alone is reason enough to wait 2 weeks to resolve the matter even if there were no extenuating circumstances.

 

What I love is all the Bama-haters criticizing Saban and UA for doing the right thing and never flinching in the process.  It's as if indefinite suspension and barring kids from campus are akin to stonewalling and hoping the kids beat the rap.  When your only criticism is that Saban didn't handle the situation quickly enough for your own sensibilities then you really are trying to find fault(not addressing that to John)

ATL14ESQ
ATL14ESQ

Always amusing to see the Tide apologists running amok.

 

Glad to see CNS make the proper call be it a few days late.

 

Still nice to see those hooligans get the boot.

 

Alabama's talent level combined with magnitude  of the program puts them in position to cull immediately for "thugish behavior"

 

Plenty of capable athletes waiting in the wings to replace the "oh not so dear departed"

 

Young athletes willing to abide by the rules and not consider themselves above the law.

j_scott_o
j_scott_o

John,

Agree with you 100%.  These fans who are talking about "due process", etc are off base.  If the 2 players confessed to the crime, that is the end of it.  They should have been booted immediately.  It is nice to say Saban took "immediate action".  Big flippin' deal.  Having the players run stairs for 10 minutes is also taking "immediate action".  There is a difference between "immediate action" and "appropriate immediate action".

 

And, what would these players have done once booted from the team?  Claim they were unjustly booted?  They committed a crime...they beat a student to a pulp.  C'mon.  And, for argument's sake, lets say it turned out these players didn't mean to confess and it turned out they were innocent.  There is absolutely no rule in place that says once you are dismissed from a team that the coach/school/administration can't let you back.

 

In the end, Saban did the correct thing.  But, this doesn't change the fact that those 2 that confessed should have been dismissed from the team immediately.

ChrisAllen1
ChrisAllen1

it does not seem as if you even know what point you are trying to get across?  I do not have a horse in this race, but I am guessing that there are certain administrative issues that need to be dealt with.  However, it is possible that Tuscaloosa and the University of Alabama have given executive and policing powers to Mr. Saban.  In which case, he should have used them when he received that late night call.

AllTideUp
AllTideUp

It's a fair question.  I'll admit that I was defending Saban and UA in anything I said regarding this issue.  I did that, however, because criticism of their actions was on the table.  The focus at the outset, however, was on whether or not Saban and UA were acting correctly.  With that being the question on the table, that determines the response from the hearer.  The question was never asked in a vacuum, "what is the appropriate punishment for these kids?"  If the focus of the discussion would have been placed on what the appropriate measures "should be" regardless of what was being done then that would have been a different topic.  Odds are I would have defended Saban either way because I've come to trust his leadership.  So in my mind, he gets the benefit of the doubt unless he proves himself to be a screw-up. 

OBXnoworries
OBXnoworries

Mr. SEC amuses me.  A couple of weeks ago he said that he would no longer respond to Alabama fans who criticized him for his rush to judgement.  He regretted trying to reason with these people, he said.  So tonight Mr. SEC stirs the same pot,  presumably, hoping for more of the same.  No matter.  The process has taken its course. Alabama has weighed the matter and made its judgements.  I hope the kids can turn their lives around.  Vilifying them won't help them, but taking them seriously and giving them appropriate punishment might.  It's really up to them at this point.

 

TBfromWoolly
TBfromWoolly

1.  The players were dismissed immediately pending the investigation to determine their fate.  (so there was immediate action)

 

2.  Dont hold "Bama Fans" to the same standard as someone like CNS or a university.   Maybe some fans would not have said anything if CNS dismissed them immediately, but that doesnt change the fact that doing so could have possibly lead to a legal problem.  (why are we debating this ?  It seems like common sense to me that taking the time to let due process run its course is the best/safest course of action for all involved.)  Hopefully those fans that would not have minded an immediate expulsion learned from how UA/CNS handled the situation.  

 

3.   Does anyone really want to argue that CNS doesnt know how to handle his business properly ?    Do you want to believe that you know how to handle team matters better than the best college football coach of this era ?   I hope not as this could point to a medical or psychological problem you may be experiencing.  (just joking you're all entitled to your opinions)

 

4.   You have to perform a certain amount of due diligence relative to sensitive situations like these to make sure you are not making any mistakes that would lead to future legal problems.   Every major institution whether it be a fortune 500 company, universities, or the military have their own type of due process that they use to handle situations like these.   It is not something limited to our legal system like you seem to believe.  Sure the terminology may change, but the principle of due process remains the same.    The principle of due process is very important to a civilized society.   (at least IMO, and I hope most would agree)    

 

5.  I am glad that UA/ CNS handled the matter in a very responsible way, and even treated the thugs with a certain amount respect by allowing due process to run its course.  It is a good model for others to use.  I have no idea why anyone would second guess how they handled the situation.   I hope all of you that wanted blood less than 24 hours after the incident never find yourselves caught in a legal matter that could change your life, and not get the common decency of a fair hearing/trial.   (yes they confessed, but you never know what information may come forth during an investigation to change the way you perceive what actually happened.)

 

6.  I am happy that all four players were expelled.   I am happy it didnt take long to serve the justice.  I am not for teams allowing thugs like this to hang around after a serious offense.  I believe anyone that is stupid enough to jeopardize free rent, free food, and a free college education by committing violent crimes obviously needs to have their scholly given to another more worthy individual.    I thought Jordan Jefferson and other members of the LSU gang should have been expelled after they assaulted that marine.    I think UA nailed this situation.  They treated the thugs with respect even though they deserved none, and then dismissed them permanently unlike what some other schools have done in the past.    

 

 

saber1234
saber1234

Uncle Peaches is not going to like this... No more mortgage payments..

saginaw
saginaw

Amazed that Mr. Sec  apparently thinks this could have ended any other way.  As for the timing, who cares?  Does one really think that by waiting two weeks  instead of doing it immediately indicate some kind of moral failure by Saban?  I know the media is all about passing judgement and moralizing but geez, get over yourselves.

I4Bama
I4Bama

You are probably right, John.  I would probably have defended Saban if he had immediately tossed the thugs, too.  With all due respect and no animosity intended, you missed the reasoning and motivation, though.  Saban had intimate knowledge of the facts either way, immediately or two weeks later.  You and I had what we had heard and read.  Issues are always deeper than they seem.

 

Love the site.  Thanks for the "Bama got it right" thing.

DaveinExile
DaveinExile

Better question: How many in the press would have demanded due process if Saban had canned all four immediately/ How many in the press would have accused Saban of splitting hairs if he had canned two immediately and left the other two to a different process? Saban was going to get criticized from some direction no matter what course of action he chose. The press is too large and too diverse to think otherwise. And if you want to be honest about it, so is the Alabama fan base. Some wanted players gone forthwith. Others saw merit in waiting two weeks. Both sides have merit.

 

We all like to think our own positions adhere to principles while other people with different opinions simply make convenient arguments to defend a preconceived bias or achieve an ulterior motive. The truth is that opinions vary for a simple reason - we all see different values at stake in the proceedings.

torris187
torris187

What if the University dismissed all of them, and it turned out 1 of the 4 had nothing to do with the incident and was completley innocent.  Imagine that player was a senior who would be eligble for the NFL draft, this negative publicity/getting kicked out of an institution, when the player did nothing wrong, would be very troublesome since he could claim it affected his draft/sponshorship positions.  The player could then sue the university for making a rash decision that has financially harmed them.  The university could be liable for damages, as well as punitive damages, which could total in the millions. 

 

Waiting for all of the facts to come in is never a bad thing.  Better to make no decision than a bad decision. 

j_scott_o
j_scott_o

 @I4BamaNot sure how much more "intimate knowledge of the facts" you need.  The 2 players confessed to the crime of beating a fellow student.  This is a de facto admission that they had committed a crime and agreed it was a crime.  What more intimate knowledge is needed?  How severely the dude was beaten?  I mean, c'mon.

 

j_scott_o
j_scott_o

 @DaveinExile

 This argument is nothing more than a red herring.  I don't recall anyone saying all 4 should immediately be booted.  The immediate dismissal that people talked about only pertains to the 2 individuals that confessed.  Not the other two.  Granted, I believe they should have been booted as well, but, not until more information was obtained.  This all has to do w/ the confession.  If those 2 had not confessed, then I feel Saban would have been justified in finding out more.

alamoaggie08
alamoaggie08

 @torris187

 you still don't get it, do you?  TWO OUT OF THE FOUR players CONFESSED TO THE CRIMES!  in case you are unaware what that means: they admitted they were GUILTY and therefore A DANGER TO SOCIETY. 

 

there was no reason to keep those two on the team after they told police they did in fact attack and rob their fellow students.  once there's a confession there is no due process unless investigators suspect there's a cover-up job going on, and there wasn't.  that is all john has been saying this entire time: dismiss the ones who confessed.  it's common sense.  get over yourself and deal with the facts.

I4Bama
I4Bama

 @j_scott_o

 And don't misinterpret what I said about it seeming harmless.  Physical violence towards another such as this is inexcusable and I am glad the thugs are gone.  By seeming harmless, I mean perhaps the original scenario was just to intimidate someone and it went south.  It is but one possible scenario in a million in a situation most are treating as if they were standing and watching as it went down.

I4Bama
I4Bama

 @j_scott_o

 Hypothetically (and I am making this up, so please do not repeat it as fact somewhere else), let's say that there is a fraternity of sorts among football players, and let's say that this involves initiation.  Two players take two pledges and bully them into jumping a student.  Sounds harmless, but it goes worse than expected.  The two pledges are terrified of the others, for what reason we know not, and they feel so guilty after having committed the crime that it is written all over their faces.  When they arrive at the police station, there is no doubt as to their guilt and so they confess.  Will you then boot them immediately and allow the antagonists to prolong the executioner indefinitely by hiding behind the goats?  Or do you wait and get them all at once, antagonists and the bullied?  This is one example.  There are many other possible scenarios.  This is what I meant above when I said that we know only what we have heard and read, that Saban has intimate knowledge, and that issues are always deeper than they seem.

 

To wish to play executioner with no knowledge whatsoever of the details is asinine.

DaveinExile
DaveinExile

 @j_scott_o Go back and read my post. I was evaluating the possible responses, which were: (A) can all 4 immediately, (B) can the Confessed 2 immediately and Non-Confessed 2 later via different criteria, or (C) can all 4 at the same time, but later. My point was that Saban was going to get criticized to some degree no matter which of those options he chose. I think that (C) minimized the risks to the university on all legal and PR fronts, and I know a number of PR and legal experts who agree.

 

I'm not sure how you see that argument as a "red herring." It goes straight to the core issues of this debate.

 

Tusk
Tusk

 @alamoaggie08  @torris187

 What is your knowledge of their confessions?  How do you know they were legally obtained?  How do you know there were no procedural violations?  How do you if they were or were not admissible evidence?  Thanks for letting us know.

I4Bama
I4Bama

 @j_scott_o  @I4Bama

 Obviously, reason, logic, and fairness do not pass as currency here.  I am out.

 

Two weeks.  Our government, unbelieveably, allows people to remain on death row for decades and we are talking about taking two weeks to get it right. 

 

Tune in later when it happens at Auburn and I make the same point.  Until then...

 

Later.

j_scott_o
j_scott_o

 @I4Bama

 Didn't misintrepret anything you said and fully understand what you are saying with your hypothetical.  But, lets take your hypothetical as reality.  It does not change the fact that the 2 confessed.  They are young men...adults.  They are accountable for their actions.  If they confessed...boot them immediately.  The rest of the story would come out and the other 2 would be dealt with accordingly by Bama.

j_scott_o
j_scott_o

 @Tusk  @I4Bama

 Not sure where this is coming from except as an extension of a different part of this thread.  And, the "name calling and accusations of an arrest record"?????  Anyway, it is nice for you to jump in with something germane. 

Tusk
Tusk

 @I4Bama  @j_scott_o Prepare for the name calling and accusations of an arrest record.  (Their use of caps lock validates their posts)

DaveinExile
DaveinExile

 @j_scott_o Let's say we kick two off Day 1 and the other two off Day 10. Now you obviously have to explain the difference in your reasoning - and that becomes the gap where legal issues could take root one way or the other.

 

Versus: all 4 off on Day 10. No differences to explain. No multiplication (x2) of potential complications. Standard HR approach, actually.

j_scott_o
j_scott_o

 @DaveinExile

 Understand what you are saying and totally agree that Saban was in a pretty much a no-win situation.  I just think if he had canned the 2 that confessed immediately, that would have sent a stronger more decisive message to everyone...players, students, fans, media, rivals, etc.

 

As for the legal fronts...what legal front?  This is the part I don't understand...this CYA reasoning.  You kick 2 players that confessed to a crime off the team and you are worried that they will sue you?  For kicking them off the team for committing a crime?  For confessing to beating a student?  I just don't get that part.  This all has to do w/ them confessing....nothing else.  To me, and obviously others, that kinda ends it right there.

Tusk
Tusk

 @DaveinExile  @j_scott_o But I read here that there is no argument from a legal standpoint...it does not apply to being a part of a team or organization. Dang.

j_scott_o
j_scott_o

 @Tusk  @alamoaggie08  @torris187

 

You mentioned "procedural violations"...are Miranda Rights not part of procedure?  What other "procedures" are your referring?  No lawyer?  No phone call?  What?

 

Regardles, you are arguing from a legal standpoint.  This has NOTHING to do with them being booted from the team.  If they confessed to the crime, that is the end of it.  As far as Saban and Bama should be concerned, it does not matter if there were "procedural violations" in obtaining the confessions.  And, as for CYA...if it turned out that they didn't confess or didn't commit this crime, they could easily be let back on the team.  By your reasoning of CYA, if that is what Bama really wants to do, then why not wait til everything with this case is over?  Wait to see if they are found guilty in court.  Wait to see what happens.  Wouldn't that really be CYA???

Tusk
Tusk

 @j_scott_o  @alamoaggie08  @torris187 Who said they weren't read their rights?Miranda Rights? Seriously?  I asked about the facts regarding the arrests and confessions, not what someone thinks occurred.  I do not know the facts either, but I do know as fact numerous confessions have been tossed due to errors, omissions and "procedural violations" resulting in costly litigation. Since you missed my point, please allow me to spell it.  It is called CYA.  And for what it's worth, I'm glad all 4 are gone, including Calloway.  Have a good day.

j_scott_o
j_scott_o

 @Tusk  @alamoaggie08  @torris187

 Seriously, this is your best response?  Did you even read what you typed prior?  You talk about "procedural violations"?  So, what are you saying?  If they confessed w/o being given their Miranda Rights, Saban would have said, 'oops, we have to keep them on the team...they weren't read their rights'!!!!  Good grief.  You are trying to argue from a legal standpoint...which does not apply to being a part of a team or organization.

Tusk
Tusk

 @alamoaggie08  @Tusk  @torris187 "how the heck do you think they even got a confession out of them?"

 

Hilarious, you are the reason I read this blog. 

alamoaggie08
alamoaggie08

 @Tusk  @alamoaggie08  @torris187  how stupid are you?  how the heck do you think they even got a confession out of them?  by showing them they have enough evidence to convict them and they'd likely get a harsher sentence if it goes to the judge.  if they weren't guilty, they wouldn't have confessed.

 

maybe you can enlighten me on that whole arrest and interrogate process?  i've never been through either after all, but apparently you have plenty of experience so you can tell me all about it.

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