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Alabama’s Nick Saban Says It Wasn’t ‘Necessary’ to Suspend Receiver Accused of Striking Female Tennessee Fan – Market Subset News

Alabama Crimson Tide head coach Nick Saban started receiver Jermaine Burton on Saturday despite last week’s accusation that he gruffly pushed a female fan after the team’s loss to Tennessee.

After the Tide lost to the Volunteers, the winning university’s fans flooded the field. And it appeared that Burton was not at all amused.

Burton was caught on video walking toward a female fan and appearing to come into contact with her head as she neared him. In the video, the fan stumbles after the encounter, then turns to face the retreating player as if she is shocked that he put his hands on her.

Saban was fully aware of the video and the accusations, but ultimately he decided it wasn’t a big enough deal to punish the player for it.

“I don’t know how many of you have been in a situation like that. I talked to him. He was scared, I was scared, some of our other players were scared,” Saban said, according to Fox News. “I think you learn to respect other people because we have a responsibility to do that, regardless of the circumstance we’re in.”

“I talked to the guy. We have him in a counseling program. It’s not an anger management program, as some people announced today,” Saban added. “Nobody ever said that; that’s not the problem, that’s not the issue.”

“It’s about having the proper respect for other people. I didn’t think it was necessary to suspend the guy, so if you knew the whole story, maybe you wouldn’t either. But I am not gonna divulge that,” he concluded.

Saban also addressed the video on Wednesday, saying, “We certainly don’t condone any mistreatment of anybody, whether they should or shouldn’t be there. I think you’ve gotta have respect for other people.”

But Saban’s waiving away of Burton’s behavior from last week did not sit well with everyone.

Rucker added, “A player has to be suspended for that. He has to be. That’s an absolute no-doubter. There’s video evidence that can’t be refuted.”

Others were just as shocked at Saban’s dismissal of Burton’s actions:

This weekend, Alabama beat Mississippi State, 30-6, with Burton grabbing two receptions for 40 yards.

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