In recent news the SEC passed a new rule banning schools from accepting transfers who were subject to official disciplinary action for sexual assault, domestic violence or other forms of sexual violence at their previous school.
The recent actions of former Georgia (and briefly Alabama) defensive lineman Jonathan Taylor who’s multiple run-ins with the law through domestic violence issues resulted in his dismissal fro both schools.
Saban was recently asked about how he felt about the rule, and expressed his disinterest.
While he is in agreement of the principle, the historic success of players given a second chance is beneficial for the SEC.
The question Thursday: “Were you in favor of the SEC rule that was passed about banning transfers for players who’ve had serious misconduct at their previous schools.”
“No,” Saban said, “but I’m supportive of the league. I understand what they’re trying to do, and I was really [looking] to clearly define exactly why — or what — I thought convicted and felonies should be involved in the rule, and I guess I got sort of misinterpreted. But one of the points that I tried to make was Cam Newton being in the SEC and Nick Marshall being in the SEC benefited the SEC, and it benefited those players.
There is no question that the SEC (and the NCAA as a whole) is trying to improve its social image by preventing troublesome athletes from tarnishing he Southeastern Conference.
However, Saban speaks to a much debated point.
The SEC stands for many principles off the field/court, but its reputation is carried (in most circles) by what is done from their athletes. Cam Newton, someone who would have been banned by this rule, not only brought a National Championship to the SEC, but has accomplished much more. He went to the NFL, has become an extraordinary role model through his community out-reach efforts, and continued his studies so that he could graduate from Auburn.
One of the most prolific NFL athletes on and off the field carries on the SEC tradition in to the highest degree.
The question must be asked, is it better to give a second chance with opportunity for redemption or to hold a 19/20 year-old permanently responsible for a generally temporary mistake?
*Featured Photo (above) credit to USA TODAY Sports