Alabama head coach Nick Saban is dismissing the notion that Jalen Hurts’ comments over the weekend, in which he was critical of how Tide coaches have handled the quarterback controversy this offseason, will have any effect on the team.
“Every player has a right to express what he feels and what he thinks, and I think he has every right to do that with every coach or anybody in the organization who he has relationships with, which we certainly do quite often with all players at all positions,” Saban said via ESPN. “This is probably a lot more important to people outside this organization than it is to people inside. I don’t think it has 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 by how people execute, how they do their job.”
In his comments to the media Saturday, Hurts, whose future in Tuscaloosa has been in question since he was benched during the national championship game last January in favor of true freshman quarterback Tagovailova, expressed disappointment with how the coaching staff has dealt with the controversy. He believes comments like when Saban told reporters at SEC media days that he had “no idea” whether Hurts would be on the roster opening day have only fueled speculation that he would transfer out.
“That’s always been the elephant in the room,” Hurts said Saturday. “For me, no one came up to me the whole spring, coaches included, no one asked me how I felt. No one asked me what was on my mind. No one asked me how I felt about the things that were going on. Nobody asked me what my future held. That’s that. So now it’s like when we try to handle the situation now, for me, it’s kind of late, it’s too late, the narrative has already been created.”
Hurts and Tagovailova have been locked in a heated battle this offseason, with no indication as of yet who will get the start for the opener against Louisville Sept. 1.