Nick Saban Suspends 4-Star Recruit Tony Mitchell After Drug Charges, Says “There’s No Such Thing In Being At The Wrong Place At The Wrong Time”
Alabama head football coach Nick Saban declared last Monday, "there's no such thing in being at the wrong place at the wrong time," after he announced the suspension of freshman safety Tony Mitchell, a four-star recruit for the class of 2023.
Alabama head football coach Nick Saban declared last Monday, “there’s no such thing in being at the wrong place at the wrong time,” after he announced the suspension of freshman safety Tony Mitchell, a four-star recruit for the class of 2023.
Mitchell, as reported by AL.com, managed to evade capture during a high-speed chase, reaching speeds of up to 141 mph.
He was ultimately apprehended, and a subsequent search of his vehicle revealed $7,000 in cash, approximately 226 grams (28 ounces) of marijuana, a set of scales, and a loaded handgun. Mitchell now faces charges of possession of marijuana with intent to sell and/or deliver.
Saban announced Mitchell’s suspension saying, “Tony Mitchell has been suspended from the team and all team activities until we gather more information about the situation and what his legal situation is.”
He then stated, “I mean, guys, everybody’s got an opportunity to make choices and decisions. There’s no such thing as being at the wrong place at the wrong time. You got to be responsible for who you’re with, who you’re around and what you do, who associate yourself with, and the situations you put yourself in.”
“It is what it is,” Saban added. “But there is cause and effect when you make choices and decisions that put you in bad situations.”
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Coach Saban shared a similar opinion in the past when former Alabama wide receiver Henry Ruggs’ rear-ended another car leading to the death of the 23-year-old driver and her dog. Ruggs was reportedly traveling at 156 mph 2.5 seconds before the collision, and is currently facing multiple felony charges.
Following the news, Saban said to his players, “There was a player in Las Vegas who was drinking at 3 in the morning with his buddies and his girlfriend,” Saban said. “And if somebody would’ve taken his keys from him, it probably would’ve pissed him off. Probably would’ve made him mad. Probably wouldn’t have thought much of you for doing that, but would he be better off now? Or is he better off where he was — going 156 mph, running ass into somebody, and killing them?”
Saban was shaken by the incident, as Ruggs was a “good kid” and had never been in trouble at Alabama. However, the coach has since emphasized the importance of leadership, and the responsibility friends and teammates have to hold each other accountable.
Saban added, “And he’s in jail. And he doesn’t have a career anymore. And he’s a good kid. What kind of friend were you? What kind of leader were you when you allowed your friend to do that? Nobody wants to do it because they’re afraid of what somebody is going to think of them.”
Saban’s comments come on the heels of Alabama basketball coach Nate Oats’ recent statement that player Brandon Miller’s involvement in a gun-related incident was merely a case of ‘wrong spot at the wrong time.’
While some view Saban’s remarks as a veiled criticism of Oats, others see it as a message from a coach who has had enough of players making poor decisions and being enabled by those around them.
When asked to clarify on his remarks, Saban replied, “There’s nothing to clarify. I don’t watch basketball coaches’ press conferences. How many years have I been coaching? I never watched one. I never listen to what other people say. That was strictly about our program and what we do.”
He continued, “It had nothing to do with anybody else. I don’t make any comments about anybody else and we hope the basketball team does really, really well.”
Do you think Saban’s comment, “There’s no such thing as being in the wrong place at the wrong time,” is a fair assessment? Let us know in the comments.
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