It started when Jalen Hurts was replaced by Tua Tagovailoa in the College Football Playoff national title game. Hurts watched as the freshman lead the Crimson Tide, a team Hurts quarterbacked to a 12-1 record heading into last year’s final against SEC rival Georgia, to the Crimson Tide’s fifth national championship in the last nine years.
The offseason that followed saw a testy Nick Saban at SEC Media Days, and the two blue chip quarterbacks have sounded off on Twitter about their upcoming quarterback battle. Now, it seems like Jalen Hurts has finally had enough, and he made his opinion on the handling of the whole situation loud and clear.
Hurts finally let his guard down, and pulled out the big guns to address the Alabama coaching staff’s handling of the entire situation.
Incoming, Nick Saban. Like it or not, you officially have a controversy on your hands.
In truth, Hurts’ impromptu words condemning the Alabama staff may be his downfall. What this information does, however, is shine a light into the Crimson Tide’s locker room.
“I just don’t think that they were, maybe, bold enough to ask,” Hurts said. “Like it was ‘I know it’s there, but I don’t want to talk about it.’ I definitely think it was something that should’ve been talked about a long time ago instead of being talked about when it’s here.”
Alabama’s tight-knit program is built on trust from the inside, and Hurts calling out the staff as not being “bold enough” to approach him makes the situation seem very one sided.
College athletes are at the mercy of the program they sign on to play for. If Alabama and coach Nick Saban aren’t being transparent on potential life-altering decisions like this, who are they acting in the best interest of — The million-dollar head coach or the players giving everything they have for the university?
Pamela Hurts, Jalen’s mother, took to Facebook in response to the backlash her son has been receiving for speaking out. The following is an excerpt from that post:
“There’s a reason why players aren’t allowed to speak to the media. Jalen spoke his truth, finally, after 3 years of being compliant and controlled. You have no idea what is and has been going on — and most likely, never will.”
All of this to come out just days before Alabama begins training camp practices could fracture an already tense situation in Tuscaloosa’s quarterback competition.
Hurts is 26-2 as Alabama’s quarterback over two seasons, but clearly his loyalty in the program is shaken after a quiet offseason saw no answers come down from the top of the Crimson Tide food chain.
“Now, when we’re trying to handle the situation now, for me it’s kinda late. It’s too late. The narrative has already been created,” Hurts said.
Rumors have circulated that should Hurts not be Alabama’s starting quarterback, he would likely transfer with two full years of eligibility left to play.
Should Tua Tagovailoa get the starting job over Hurts, there are plenty of other programs who would love to get their hands on Jalen Hurts’ talent.
Time will tell if Hurts’ rant will lead to a better relationship in fall camp, or the potential end of his time at Alabama.