Jalen Hurts sent shockwaves through the college football world on Saturday when he voiced frustration with how the Alabama coaching staff, and particularly Nick Saban, has handled his ongoing quarterback battle with Tua Tagovailoa and questions surrounding his future with the team.
When Saban spoke with the media on Wednesday for the first time since Hurts’ comments. He asserted they would have no impact on who starts under center for the Crimson Tide on September 1.
“Look, this is probably a lot more important to people outside this organization than it is to people inside,” Saban said. “I don’t think it has any effect on our team. I’ve talked to a lot of our team leaders. The players are focused on what they need to do. 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.”
Hurts’ statements were especially surprising given the close-to-the-vest responses that Saban’s players typically give when talking to members of the media. While many expected Saban to voice his own exasperation with Hurts breaking from that mold, he did no such thing – at least not publically.
Instead, Saban insisted that his players have a right to speak their minds.
“My comments were 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.