Nick Saban is a man of great integrity. It’s why he’s the greatest college football coach of all time. That isn’t up for debate.
When Alabama’s head coach meets the parents of recruits, that’s exactly what he’s pitching to them. His character. His values. After all, wouldn’t you want to send your son off to a program that will first and foremost teach him how to become a great young man?
During a speech at the Alabama Football Coaches Association Convention this week, Saban spoke about former Alabama wide receiver Henry Ruggs, what being a good teammate means and how someone could have prevented Ruggs’ fatal car crash. It’s well worth the watch.
Nick Saban On Henry Ruggs & Being a Good Teammate
Henry Ruggs III was charged with driving under the influence after he crashed his car driving 156 mph with a blood-alcohol level of 0.16 in Las Vegas — the accident resulted in the death of 23-year-old Tina Tintor and her dog on Nov. 2, 2021.
Ruggs, a first-round pick in the 2020 NFL Draft, was in his second season with the Las Vegas Raiders.
Saban explained how being a good teammate could have prevented Ruggs from ruining his career and taking someone’s life.
“Well, if there was a player in Las Vegas who was drinking at 3 o’clock in the morning with his buddies and his girlfriend, and somebody would have taken his keys away, it probably would have pissed him off. Probably would have made him mad. Probably wouldn’t have thought very much of you for doing that.
“But would he be better off now or is he better off where he was going 156 miles an hour and running his ass into someone and killing them? And is in jail and he doesn’t have a career anymore and he’s a good kid and he never had one problem on our team at Alabama?Advertisement
“So, what kind of friend were you? What kind of leader were you when you allowed the guy to do it? But nobody wants to do that, because they’re afraid of what somebody’s gonna think of them.”
This is one of those videos you save and show your kids one day.
You can tell from Saban’s voice that he’s heartbroken about the Ruggs incident and that he genuinely loved that kid. I’m sure he looks at all of his players as his own children.
While there’s no taking back what Ruggs did, hopefully future Alabama football players will watch this and take it to heart.