Not so unexpectedly, Alabama’s roster is a little lighter this Sunday afternoon.
In a statement sent out by the school just a short time ago, head coach Nick Saban announced that Jonathan Taylor has been dismissed from his football program. Taylor was arrested Saturday evening on domestic violence charges.
“Jonathan Taylor has been dismissed from the team and is no longer a part of our program,” Saban’s statement began. “This will still need to go through the legal process, but when he was given an opportunity here, it was under strict guidelines and we made it clear there was a zero tolerance policy.”
It was the right move by Saban and, really, the only move he could’ve made. The fact that he did it so swiftly, though, should not be overlooked — while Saban’s a man all in favor of second chances, don’t screw him over and embarrass him when you’re given what at the time was considered a controversial opportunity.
Taylor did just that, and paid the price for putting his hands on a woman again. Allegedly.
There’s still no word on the fate of cornerback Geno Smith, who was arrested late Friday night for the second time in less than two years on a drunk-driving charge.
UPDATED 3:03 p.m. ET: Shortly after Taylor’s dismissal was announced, UA athletic director Bill Battle released the following statement:
Representing this University is a privilege that none of us can take for granted. As I noted in my comments when the decision was made to allow Jonathan Taylor to attend the University on a football scholarship, I believe in second chances. I still do. However, being successful in that second chance requires responsibility and accountability. In Jonathan’s situation, the University and the Department of Athletics set forth very clear standards of accountability and expectations of conduct. Jonathan was afforded a chance to successfully overcome the difficulties that resulted in his departure from the University of Georgia. Unfortunately, it appears that he was unable to do so, in spite of extensive efforts to assist him. All of us hope that Jonathan and the young lady involved can deal constructively with the issues that led to this situation, and their aftermath, so that both of them can have productive, healthy futures. Violent conduct by any representative of the University of Alabama athletics department will not be tolerated. More than ever, we take seriously the responsibility that all of us have to represent our University and our state in the best way possible – in competition and in daily life.