Nick Saban Provides Update on Tony Mitchell
Nick Saban met with the media on Monday for the first time since the Sugar Bowl. During his availability, the legendary coach addressed Tony Mitchell, the 4-star early enrollee from Alabaster who was arrested on multiple drug charges in Bonifay, Fla. last week.
"Tony Mitchell has been suspended from the team and all team activities until we gather more information about the situation and what is legal circumstance is," said Saban. "Everybody's got an opportunity to make choices and decisions. There's no such thing and being at the wrong place on time."
"You’ve gotta be responsible for who you’re with, who you’re around and what you do, who you associate yourself with and the situations that you put yourself in. It is what it is, but there is cause and effect when you make choices and decisions that put you in bad situations."
Mitchell attended Thompson High School in Alabaster and is a four-time state champion. The defensive back was touted as one of the crown jewels of the Crimson Tide's No. 1 ranked 2023 recruiting class.
There was some speculation that Mitchell would simply be dismissed from the team outright. The suspension makes more sense within the context of Saban's past actions.
In the past, he has famously touted his belief in second chances and his lack of a desire to take an opportunity away from someone who is ultimately a kid that made a mistake.
“Where do you want them to be? Guy makes a mistake. Where do you want them to be? Want them to be in the street? Or do you want them to be here, graduating. When I was over there at the Nagurski, Muhsin Muhammad, who played 15 years for the Carolina Panthers, played for me at Michigan State,” said Saban back in 2014 when discussing the team’s decision to allow DJ Pettway to re-enroll.
“Everybody in the school, every newspaper guy, everybody was killing a guy because he got in trouble and said there’s no way he should be on our team. I didn’t kick him off the team, I suspended him, I made him do stuff. He graduated from Michigan State, he played 15 years in the league, he’s the president of a company now and he has a seven children and his oldest daughter goes to Princeton. So who was right?”