Alabama Coach Nick Saban Speaks on Rolando McClain Situation

Mike DockeryCorrespondent INovember 17, 2008

Following Alabama’s victory against Mississippi State, head coach Nick Saban briefly addressed an altercation that allegedly occurred between All-SEC linebacker Rolando McClain and another student.

McClain could face criminal charges in connection with the incident, which occurred on campus last week.

Interestingly, Saban seemed to subtly confirm the rumors that have been spreading around campus. Rumors suggest that a fraternity member began the altercation with McClain, and the situation escalated when the man referred to McClain using a racial slur. 

“[I]f [McClain] made a mistake because somebody else did something, we all make them,” Saban said. “I'm not going to penalize him and punish him.”

The coach went on to say that McClain will be disciplined if the results of an ongoing investigation warrant, but Saban left no doubt that he supports McClain.

“We'll discipline him and change his behavior so he does better and that's about it,” Saban said. “Because he's done a lot for this university and he's a great leader. I'm proud to have him on this team."

Saban also said that he was “proud of the way [McClain] represents our team.”

McClain has been an important leader on the Tide's defense, and leads the team in tackles. The sophomore linebacker underwent surgery on his thumb this week following an injury sustained during the Mississippi State game, but he is not expected to miss any practice.