During Alabama’s 52-6 rout of USC on Saturday night not everything went as smoothly as the score might indicate. Late in the first half safeties Ronnie Harrison and Eddie Jackson were seen arguing and scuffling with each other with linebacker Reuben Foster trying to keep them apart. Others were involved in separating the players and even Nick Saban was having trouble settling everyone down.
Cooler heads prevailed however and the disagreement didn’t have any lasting impact on the Tide’s performance. Monday when speaking to reporters Saban explained just what happened and what he hopes his players learn from the incident.
“Ronnie let it emotionally get to him that these other guys were talking,” Saban said Monday in a noon news conference. “So he said something, and Eddie said ‘Hey man, this is not what we do, we don’t talk to the other team.’ And Ronnie got all upset, not necessarily at Eddie, he was just emotionally upset about the trash talking and Eddie saying something to him.
“These two guys have a lot of respect for each other. They’re really good friends. The lesson to be learned is that when you have a teammate who is caring about you and trying to help you, the response should be ‘Thank you,’ not ‘Screw you.’ That’s basically the lesson that should be learned from the guys. Sometimes when players get emotional, that’s very difficult to do.”
“Ronnie Harrison is a fine young man,” Saban said. “It’s totally out of character for him. He’s apologized for it and is very sorry for it and I don’t think that’ll ever be an issue again.”
“It’s nothing but coaching, to me,” Hamilton said. “Eddie’s just taking a leadership role, I mean we don’t want to get any dumb penalties or anything like that. … It’s just a leader stepping up and trying to get a young gun right to prevent something from happening.”
Harrison’s quickness to acknowledge the situation and apologize speaks volumes for where he and the program are. It’s great to see guys care so much and have so much passion for the game. It’s just as great to know they understand their place and when they step out of it.