Nick Saban, the mercenary, takes in ex-Bulldog Jonathan Taylor

Nick Saban is giving former Georgia's Jonathan Taylor another "second chance." (Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)

Nick Saban is giving former Georgia lineman Jonathan Taylor another “second chance.” (Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)

After Alabama admitted a football player who was kicked out of Georgia and has felony assault charges hanging over his head, school spokesperson Deborah Lane released the following statement:

“Jonathan Taylor was admitted to The University of Alabama following the same procedures that the UA Admissions office uses to evaluate any student who has dealt with legal issues. … Athletics is not involved in the admissions process.”

I think there was more after, “Athletics is not involved in the admissions process,” but I fell off my chair.

In case you missed this: Jonathan Taylor is a 6-4, 350-pound nose guard. He was dismissed by Georgia coach Mark Richt in July after being arrested for aggravated assault and domestic violence. According to reporting from our Chip Towers at the time of the arrest: Taylor was arrested July 22 at 4:45 a.m. by UGA Police after a third-party complaint that he physically assaulted his girlfriend during a domestic dispute at McWhorter Hall dormitory.

Police said evidence and witness accounts indicate the 6-foot-4, 340-pound Taylor “choked” and “struck with a closed fist” his 5-11, 170-pound female victim. She was left with “visible scratches and red marks to her neck and bruises on her arm and leg,” according to the police report.

“Choked.”

“Struck with a closed fist.”

“Scratches” and “red marks” and “bruises.”

Oh, these kids. It’s all part of the natural maturation process, I’m sure.

No worries. Here’s comes Alabama coach Nick Saban, running a play out of the, “Disingenuous Second Chance Playbook.” That’s what coaches do, you know. They save souls.

Taylor was already on notice at Georgia for his involvement with a check-cashing scheme when the assault charges came down, so coach Mark Richt had no choice but to dismiss him. Taylor spent a year at a community college in Mississippi and he just enrolled at Alabama.

Why did Saban take Taylor? Because he’s a mercenary like many big time college football coaches.

It’s remarkable, even for Saban and Alabama, that they would take this leap on a player at a time when the sensitivity about domestic violence is at an all-time high.

Saban hasn’t spoken on the subject. He’s letting a poor school spokesperson and a puppet athletic director comment on his behalf.

Quoth the puppet, Bill Battle, to AL.com: “In this particular situation, we thoroughly investigated numerous sources regarding the young man. I had extensive discussions with several people who have been very close to him, including a lengthy visit with this young man. Our coaches and I feel he is worthy of a second chance at completing his college football career at this level, and that he fully understands the position in which he has placed himself.”

I particularly like the two references to “young man.” It puts Taylor in the same category as your average Eagle Scout.

Look, I have nothing personal against Taylor. I’m all for rehabilitation. But I also believe in making people feel the consequences of their actions, and I don’t think handing out athletic scholarships to two-time offenders who have felony assault charges pending qualifies as just giving a kid a second chance.

Taylor’s attorney believes the charges will be reduced. Of course. That’s what attorneys do. But Saban isn’t picking Taylor off the street like a homeless man and giving him a cup of soup, even if that’s what he wants you to believe. He’s turning a blind eye to Taylor’s rap sheet because he can play football.

“Choked.”

“Struck with a closed fist.”

“Scratches” and “red marks” and “bruises.”

Wonder if all that will be in Taylor’s media guide bio.


A recent writer’s dozen from the digital jukebox
— AJC: Falcons’ changes: Pioli’s role increases, so what does this mean for Dimitroff?
— AJC: How’s this scenario: Falcons vs. Giants and Mike Smith’s defense in 2015?
— MyAJC: Smoltz just wanted to survive, but he did so much more
— AJC John Smoltz, a Hall of Famer on many levels, gets the call
— AJC: Hall of Fame: Smoltz, 7 others checked on my ballot
— AJC: ROSE BOWL: Oregon mocks FSU, Winston with “No means No” chant
— MyAJC: ROSE BOWL: After 29 straight wins, Florida State morphs into grease fire
— AJC: ROSE BOWL: Short takes on Oregon’s win in semis
— MyAJC: ROSE BOWL: Is FSU most hated great team in college history?
— AJC: ROSE BOWL: Oregon’s Helfrich credits Falcons’ Koetter for his success
— AJC: ROSE BOWL (short takes): FSU an underdog for first time in 50 games
— MyAJC: ROSE BOWL: Will Jameis Winston prove to be worth risk in NFL?
— AJC: ROSE BOWL (short takes): Ex-Tech coach Charles Kelly’s challenge
— AJC: Weekend Mini-Predictions: Locals win, Bama and Oregon to finals
— MyAJC: It’s Arthur Blank’s show now, and that could be a problem?
— AJC: Falcons fire Smith, keep Dimitroff, and here are some candidates
— MyAJC: Falcons are done, and so it Mike Smith
— AJC: Say goodbye to Falcons, Smith, but Blank handled this poorly
— AJC: Falcons hire search firm — hey, nice timing, Blank

 

Reader Comments 0

360 comments
Browndawg
Browndawg

Is this article ever going to be replaced with something current?

robo2000
robo2000

athletes dismissed from school should not be allowed to go to any school in the same conference.

Sprtman
Sprtman

Saban and his wife thinks it's ok to rape and abuse women. Just like Jimbo....

itchyz
itchyz

I guess the girlfriend didn't make the list of people to whom they talked.

58Supersports
58Supersports

Yes, UGA and  Saint Jeff is so holy.... what a joke!

KeepOnSmilingWetWillie
KeepOnSmilingWetWillie

Jeff you and your AJC folks can take down your article now that you have hurt Bama and Nick in recruiting. Good job.


Wait....Bama is ranked #1 for now.



Good ole AJC...you lost the war with Coach Bryant and you will end the same with Nick Saban. 



RED DOG 77
RED DOG 77

@KeepOnSmilingWetWillie  Paul "Bear" Bryant was a cheat, plain and simple. I pity simple minded people who refuse to see the truth..............Nick Saban is a little better than Bryant, but Saban is catching up fast. I make my opinion not by favorite school but by facts............and those are the facts.................RED

SpikeIt
SpikeIt

Jeff,  Saban is a mercenary just as you warned us when he was hired by Alabama.  Went back to the archives to remind people how you nailed it in 2007. Good stuff.


You wrote:

Of Saban’s  eight year contract: “…there’s as much chance of Saban seeing the end of that contract as there is of him winning an ethics battle with Don Shula.”


“But know this about Saban: He was miserable in the NFL, and in time he’ll be miserable in Tuscaloosa. Perhaps college football is where he belongs but he picked the wrong place at the wrong time to ease his throbbing temples.  Alabama used to be a top 10 job. Today Alabama is a cartoon…There are at least five schools in the SEC with more strength, stability and promise: Georgia, Florida, LSU , Tennessee, Auburn…


 Alabama will never dominate like before because the conference is too strong and recruiting is too competitive. The Tide will improve because Saban can coach.  But the days of owning Auburn and the SEC are gone, and the bigger problem is that nobody in Tuscaloosa realizes that. That will make Saban miserable. That will make him look around. Again. 


Saban said this is his last job. Two weeks ago he said, “I’m not going to be the Alabama coach.” The video will be an opposing recruiter’s best friend. His next move? Saban says it will be to his retirement home on Lake Burton. Perfect. It’s a ready-made fish story.

To this day, I have never seen such prescience, which begs the question, “How do you do it?”

Adam007
Adam007

You don't HAVE to have a criminal record to be admitted to the University of Alabama but it doesn't hurt

MoistDawg
MoistDawg

with the 4 year sholarships now nick satans days of oversiging and kicking players off the team if there not good enough are over. the stars are aligning now for us to make a run and alabama will be yesterdays news and i will be laughing all the way to pasadina.

SnoopDawg
SnoopDawg

This is why Saban is a winner and Richt is a loser...

kem18
kem18

Jeff I don't understand your point. He was kicked off the team and lost his UGA scholarship. He will have to answer for the charges in court. This is the right thing to do given his conduct? What other punishment is fair or justified. Would our society be better if Jonathan Taylor was banned from collegiate athletics for life.....what more do you want?

SkokieDog
SkokieDog

@kem18 Banned for life? That sounds about right. Or we could wait until he's in the NFL, beats up another woman, then suspend him for two games. 

L8_again
L8_again

The AJC has an over 50 year record of throwing stones at Alabama's football program. What should we do? Maybe get a rope and hang him from the highest tree.

TOJacket
TOJacket

I have read several things on here referring to me as some idiot who doesn't know the difference between Forgery or battery on a woman..........first off, i have a daughter and i would inflict much pain with extreme prejudice against any man who abused her................my point is, if CMR had taken him in from say Bama releasing him for the same charge, we would be hearing what a great, loving, caring christian man he was, And there would be praises from all you Richtbots........and you know that to be true........hypocrites. You looked great in the Belk Bowl too.......lol

Reasonable2
Reasonable2

@TOJacket Some of the honest Al fans on here have admitted they don't like the idea of putting this guy on the roster. As a UGA fan, I wouldn't like the idea of getting him and would be greatly disappointed and surprised with Richt if he did something like that.  How would you like it if PJ gave him a scholarship?  There are some honest fans on here and not just haters like you, OK?  There are actually some people on this blog that know and discuss football even though that number seems to be dwindling.

Top Row Dawg
Top Row Dawg

@TOJacket Give me just one example where UGA under CMR has taken in a player dismissed from another school. Oh, and funny how the Orange Bowl champs and the Belk Bowl champs are separated by just one spot in the top ten. Congrats on your first major bowl win in 48 years though.


TOJacket
TOJacket

@OH_IO He would forgive............that's what Jesus did.

JustInteresting
JustInteresting

@budmister @TOJacket @OH_IO Really now! Who do you think Jesus disciples were? Grown men that had done a lot of wrong but were in the process of being rehabilitated. If Jesus can forgive then certainly you can. Besides, I am sure that you have many bad deeds that someone at some time had to forgive you for. Your name is budmister and not God the Father, who is the ONLY perfect one. 

Wilbo
Wilbo

There just ought to be a limit...


UA Grad
UA Grad

I don't like this news one bit. I don't want this thug on my campus.

DoctorNo
DoctorNo

@UA Grad I applaud your sentiments, but don't worry he won't be on your campus much. I'd guess just enough one semester so he can play this fall then off to the NFL.

JustInteresting
JustInteresting

@UA Grad Good thing is really is not your campus....Geez! He was exposed but what have you done in your past that you will be taking to the grave? Judge not! If UA felt the need to give him an opportunity to get it right and you don't agree then make an appointment with Saban and express yourself. I dare you!

UA Grad
UA Grad

@JustInteresting @UA Grad I'm not saying the kid doesn't deserve forgiveness. But how much do you want to bet this is not the last time we hear of this guy abusing women?. It's my campus because I graduated from there. I actually paid money from working plus being in the National Guard with 2 tours to Afghanistan to earn a degree.  A man that hits a woman is thug. I could care less what Coach Saban says about.  I don't worship Coach Saban.

ScoreCheck
ScoreCheck

This is outrageous even for Little Nicky Satan. 

TuckyHawg
TuckyHawg

After Saban processes him, he will be a model student, All he is doing is trying to turn this guys life around and it has nothing to do with winning and losing.

WDE
WDE

@TuckyHawg that is the funniest thing I've heard in a while..

indianjoe
indianjoe

You have to understand Nicky boys ego.Any coach that runs 20 yards ahead of the team when they come

on the field before the games,thinks it's all about him.Nicky boy thinks he is the greatest ever.He is 3 deep

in 5 stars and has'nt won it all in 2 years.Signing J. Taylor shows what a desperate mode he's in.He just

can't understand how he could ever lose a game.

JustInteresting
JustInteresting

@indianjoe Actually it sounds like you think more highly of Saban then he does. You think he is the greatest ever. I think that he is just doing his job. Your job must be to criticize and judge. I give you a perfect 10 because you are great at it. 

Quiet_Storm
Quiet_Storm

Something to consider...   Mark Richt is the most outwardly religious coach in the SEC, probably country. Yet when it comes to giving his players a second or in some cases third chance, he is the least forgiving.  Last I checked one of the biggest principles of Christianity is forgiveness.  With the exception of Jonathon Taylor, I personally think players such as Nick Marshall, Zach Mettenberger, and Isaiah Crowell just to name a few, could have benefited from a second chance. 


To paraphrase Nick Saban, 18 and 19 year old kids make mistakes.  They are deserving of second chances and many turn out to be very productive members of society. By the way, Isaiah Crowell is turning out to be a pretty good running back in the NFL (Cleveland Browns).  

Quiet_Storm
Quiet_Storm

@Poledawg83 In my post I didn't defend Jonathon Taylor.  I clearly stated with the exception of Jonathon Taylor I believe some players deserved a second chance.  Look, I like Mark Richt personally I just question his abilities as a leader.  Why are the players getting in trouble in the first place?  


Also, I do understand the need for personal responsibility among players.  Yet, if you come into a home to recruit a child and you tell the parents you are going to treat him as if he is your own son, then expect that some of these kids are going to make mistakes, some big.  College kids make mistakes all the time only difference is, most of them are not high profile football players.


As a coach, sometimes it takes for you to have to play several different roles, i.e. father, spiritual leader, friend.  At times you have to stand tall with a player despite popular opinion.  What does kicking a player off the team do to further develop an individual?  Many of these players, I might add, are sure seeming to find redemption at rival SEC schools.  Your thoughts? 

Quiet_Storm
Quiet_Storm

@ScoreCheck I didn't defend Jonathon Taylor in my post.  Yet, I respect your opinion and woman as well.

ColumbusDawg
ColumbusDawg

@Quiet_Storm ZM and IC were charged with sexual assault and weapons charges. Pretty serious stuff. Richt had NO choice in their dismissal. Nick Marshall STOLE from his team mates. It is not about persoal forgiveness, it is about discipline, of which Bama and LSU and FSU know NOTHING about.

TheTrain
TheTrain

@Quiet_Storm

What an idiot, all those players got second chances and we are not privy to how many times these kids get in trouble.  Richt is one of the best coaches in the country and goes beyond the call of duty to help these kids.  Nick Saban on the other hand does not.  He is not helping this kid, he is trying to win another football game.  Nobody on here is fooled by this and I doubt you are either.  

Poledawg83
Poledawg83

@Quiet_Storm You must not be familiar with these situations.  Richt does give 2nd chances, sometimes 3rd chances.  This was Taylor's 2nd arrest within a couple of months.  It was his 2nd chance and he blew it.  And it wasn't like he was late for a meeting or was driving without a license.  The first case was fraud and then domestic abuse.  Not good.  


I like Richt's disciplinary policies.  The athletes shouldn't be treated differently from any other student.  Getting kicked off the team and being told that you can't do whatever you want because you play ball is an eye opener for some kids.  Hopefully it will work out in this case.


The only thing I don't like about the situation is that Bama took him in which means he really didn't pay a penalty for what he did.  If that is what they want to do then that tells you where their priorities are.  I'll take Richt's priorities every time.

ChuckinAlpharetta
ChuckinAlpharetta

Yeah, the same guy who stepped over a convulsing Miami offsneive lineman with nary a word gives a crap about the personal development of Jonathan Taylor :)

dawgfacedboy
dawgfacedboy

Saban cares about winning. It shows. You aren't going to reform those kids. They are who they are. It's reality. You can't expect to beat the best teams when you kick quality players off and they scoop them up. This isn't high school. If you want to make an impact in kids lives and say things like "it's more than just about winning here" then go coach high school. Until then the Nick Saban's an Urban Meyer's of the world will continue to dominate and win championships while we give extensions for 10 wins to our "honorable" coach.

ChuckinAlpharetta
ChuckinAlpharetta

@dawgfacedboy 

If Nick was coaching high school, you'd be saying "This isn't middle school. If you want to make an impact in kids lives and say things like "it's more than just about winning here" then go coach middle school."

There's always a lower bar to drop it.

50Concept
50Concept

after that beatdown by a 3rd team QB, nick and kirby are getting desperate to find talent on D---they'll sign anyone with a pulse who is good.

Boogie25
Boogie25

Where was your indignation when Richt signed this goon to start with? Oh yeah that was in February when all you Georgia shills were bragging about what a great class they signed. You like most of the Atlanta media make me sick!

WDE
WDE

@Boogie25 Boogie in February the young man didn't have a rap sheet , when he arrived at Bama he did...see how that works. He comes to UGA he screws up multiple times UGA dismisses him...a cup of coffee at a JUCO and Welcome to Bama come on down and park your baggage over there next to your helmet and shoulder pads. See we thought we were getting a fine young man we were wrong so we showed him the door, Bama on the other hand knows what they are getting a 6ft 4in 340 nose tackle that shows ball skills they don't care if he literally has blood on his hands if he can stuff the run and pressure the QB. Oh and that fact is what Should be what makes you sick.