Nick Saban Responds to Jalen Hurts' Critical Comments on Alabama QB Battle

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistAugust 8, 2018

FILE - In this Dec. 3, 2016, file photo, Alabama quarterback Jalen Hurts (2) speaks with Alabama head coach Nick Saban during the second half of the Southeastern Conference championship NCAA college football game against Florida, in Atlanta. Top-ranked Alabama's freshman quarterback has shown poise beyond his years under the pressure of leading the Crimson Tide to a Southeastern Conference title and playoff berth.  (AP Photo/John Bazemore, File)
John Bazemore/Associated Press

Jalen Hurts wasn't happy about the way the coaches have been handling the quarterback situation at Alabama, but head coach Nick Saban won't let that affect what he thinks about the players. 

Saban discussed the junior's recent comments Wednesday, via Tom Fornelli of CBS Sports:

"Every player has a right to express what he feels and what he thinks. I think he has every right to do that with every coach in the organization that he has relationships with, which we certainly do quite often. Look, this is probably a lot more important to people outside this organization than people inside. This doesn't have any effect on our team. The rhetoric will not have anything to do with who's the quarterback. That will obviously be decided on the field."

Hurts is battling Tua Tagovailoa for the starting quarterback job heading into the 2018 season.

He discussed his disappointment with the way the battle has been handled, with many projecting Hurts to transfer if he loses the starting job.

"I mean, this is a situation that is uncontrollable," Hurts said Sunday, per Alex Scarborough of ESPN. "Coaches can't control this situation. They dictate who plays, but as far as the other variations to it, they don't control it, honestly.

"Like I said, this whole spring, ever since the game, they kind of wanted to let it play out, and I guess didn't think it was a thing to let it die down like there wasn't something there. But that's always been the elephant in the room."

Hurts has apparently told Saban in the past that he plans to stay at Alabama until he graduates in December, which helps silence transfer speculation. He also has stayed positive throughout the process, including when he was benched during the national championship game against Georgia.

The quarterback had been the Tide's starter for two seasons and produced a 26-2 record as a starter before being replaced by Tagovailoa.

It seems there is still a wide-open battle with less than a month until the first game of 2018 against Louisville.

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