TUSCALOOSA — Amidst answering questions about Jonathan Taylor, Alabama coach Nick Saban found time to touch on defensive back Geno Smith’s arrest for driving under the influence this past weekend.
Saban said he is a “little disappointed” in Smith, who jailed for his second DUI while at Alabama. Still, Saban said there’s been no talk of getting rid of Smith for this offense.
“I had no consideration (to dismiss him) because I’ve never gotten rid of a guy on a second incident when it comes to drugs and alcohol,” Saban said.
Saban leaned on the Crimson Tide’s internal “drug and alcohol policy” while adding that he believes his position as a coach is to “help young people have a better chance to be successful” both on and off the field.
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“I don’t know if you have children, but you don’t throw them out with the bathwater every time they do something wrong,” Saban said. “This is the second (DUI) for him. There is a series of things that he has to do internally, which will -- the term will be inpatient and outpatient -- to help him get better. We have a series of counseling, things that we’re going to do to try to help him with psychological disposition, so he can be more positive and not feel the need to do things like this.
“So we’re trying to help the person, and when we feel like we’ve helped him enough that he can get back on the field then we’ll do that.”
Smith finished fifth on the team with 56 tackles (31 solo stops). He also had 3.5 tackles for loss, one pass breakup and one forced fumble.
With Nick Perry graduating, Smith was projected to start at free safety this fall with Laurence “Hootie” Jones expected to take over at strong safety for Landon Collins.
“You don’t know about the drug issues because we don’t release any of that, so we have guys going through this program all the time and we’re trying to help them and we’ve been successful in helping a lot of these players,” Saban said. “Rather than try to condemn Geno for what he did, which I don’t approve of -- I don’t even drink, a’ight -- so I don’t approve of people driving and putting other people in danger when they’re drinking. I don’t want you to think I’m condoning what he did. I don’t. We’re disappointed in him.
“But we’re also here to help our players, and we’re going to try to help Geno every way that we can. We have a lot of good people who have helped people in the past and hopefully we’ll be able to help Geno.”
Contact Anniston Star Sports Writer Marq Burnett at email@example.com. On Twitter: @Marq_Burnett.