NCF Nation: Tyler Hayes
February, 27, 2013
By Edward Aschoff | ESPN.com
To really no one's surprise, Nick Saban has dismissed the four players who were arrested earlier this month.
According to online records for the Tuscaloosa County Sheriff's Office, defensive lineman D.J. Pettway and linebacker Tyler Hayes were arrested for second-degree robbery, linebacker Brent Calloway was arrested for fraudulent use of a credit card and receiver/defensive back Eddie Williams was arrested for second-degree robbery and fraudulent use of a credit card.
Saban had a big decision on his hands when it came to how to handle these players. First, all four were indefinitely suspended. Then, three players -- Hayes, Pettway and Williams -- were barred from campus. After Alabama's judicial review, Saban decided to part ways with the four.
When Saban released his initial statement on the incident back on Feb. 12, it appeared he was saying that if things did in fact prove to be unacceptable actions by his players, their chances of staying on the team were slim to none. And Saban came through Wednesday.
AP Photo/Jeff RobersonAlabama coach Nick Saban showed on Wednesday how high of a priority discipline and accountability are to his program.
"Based on all the information we've received and going through and trying to determine the future of the four guys that got in trouble, those guys are no longer associated with the football program," Saban said on Wednesday. "Their actions do not reflect the spirit and character that we want our organization to reflect. It's obviously very disappointing and unacceptable what happened."
The magnitude of these arrests (I mean a fellow student was allegedly attacked) was going to make it hard for any coach to keep these players around. This was a safety issue and something that truly embarrassed not just the football program but the university as a whole.
Saban talks quite a bit of game about accountability and he made sure those players realized that they had to pay greatly for their actions. Saban didn't get to where he is and didn't get Alabama to where it is without taking off-field incidents very seriously and making tough decisions.
And it wasn't like these players were oafs. Williams was an ESPN 150 member and the No. 2 athlete in the country last year, while Hayes was an ESPN 150 member and the No. 10 linebacker in the country. Calloway was an ESPN 150 member back in 2011 and Pettway was a four-star prospect. Pettway was actually on the All-SEC freshman team in 2012 after notching 2.5 sacks and four tackles for loss.
These were talented players, and only Williams didn't see action last season. Each had a chance to make moves in 2013, but their awful off-field decisions cost them that.
But with all the talent Alabama has returning on both sides of the ball, these players will likely be hurt more than Alabama by this whole thing. Saban has too much to work with to be very worried about losing these players. Alabama won't take a step back without having any of these players on its roster.
That's a scary thought. How many other teams out there can lose highly-recruited guys all at once like this and not flinch? Yeah, that would be none.
Sure, Saban probably would have preferred these guys didn't get in trouble, and he'd probably prefer them on the team rather than off of it, but he did what he had to do, and his team likely won't dip because of it.
Saban made the right move to dismiss these players, and he likely won't regret it, either.
"Some people learn by words. Some people can learn by consequences. Some people can't learn," Saban said.
November, 10, 2012
By Sam Khan Jr. | ESPN.com
Down goes No. 1.
The defending BCS champions and the nation's top-ranked team, the Alabama Crimson Tide were upset by No. 15 Texas A&M 29-24 on Saturday at Bryant-Denny Stadium.
The Aggies jumped out to a 20-0 lead behind their high-powered, up-tempo offense and a strong defensive start and hung on in the second half, never relinquishing the lead even when it appeared the Crimson Tide were on the verge of going ahead. Let's take a look at the high points from the thriller:
It was over when: Alabama linebacker Tyler Hayes committed a neutral-zone infraction when the Aggies were lining up to punt it away to the Crimson Tide with 40 seconds left. The penalty gave Texas A&M a first down and the Aggies took a knee to seal the win, as the Crimson Tide had no timeouts to stop the clock.
Game ball goes to: Johnny Manziel. Really, you could give it to a lot of guys (the Aggies' offensive line, senior receiver Ryan Swope and the defense made some big plays) but Manziel is the straw that stirred Texas A&M's drink -- and has all season. He finished 24-of-31 passing for 253 yards, 2 touchdowns and, most importantly, zero interceptions. He also made plays with his feet, rushing for 92 yards on 18 carries (he has now surpassed 1,000 rushing yards on the season). He took care of the ball, made good throws, extended plays and played about as well as you can expect a redshirt freshman to in that environment.
Key stat: 3-0. The turnover margin. Alabama quarterback AJ McCarron threw two interceptions, including one on the Crimson Tide's final offensive drive, and the Tide also fumbled once when T.J. Yeldon coughed it up at the Aggies' 38, killing a potential scoring drive. The Aggies scored on the ensuing drive to take a 29-17 lead. The Aggies' loss to LSU on Oct. 29 was marred by five turnovers. This time, they flipped the script.
Key play: Sophomore cornerback Deshazor Everett's interception with 1:36 to go. On fourth-and-goal from the 2 and needing a touchdown, McCarron tried to hit receiver Kenny Bell on a short out route near the pylon, but Everett stepped in front of Bell and intercepted the pass to get the ball back for the Aggies and kill the Crimson Tide's drive.
What it means: The Crimson Tide's (9-1, 6-1 SEC) BCS Championship Game hopes took a huge hit with this loss. Three teams -- Oregon, Kansas State and Notre Dame -- could remain undefeated after their games on Saturday night and jump Alabama in the BCS standings. And on the flip side: Welcome to the SEC, Texas A&M. Many wondered whether the Aggies could compete in the SEC when they made the move to the country's premier football league. Not only have the Aggies (8-2, 5-2) shown they can compete, they've shown they can beat the best teams the league has to offer. Kevin Sumlin has this team peaking, and it could jump into the top 10 with this win. It's definitely a new era in College Station, Texas.
And this could also be a formal introduction into the Heisman Trophy race for Manziel.
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