Nick Saban dismisses Alabama DT signee: ‘Zero tolerance policy’

Nick Saban (AP file)

Nick Saban (AP file)

Nick Saban dismissed Jonathan Taylor from Alabama’s football team on Sunday after Taylor was arrested on a domestic violence charge this weekend.

“Jonathan Taylor has been dismissed from the team and is no longer a part of our program,” Saban said in a press release.

“This will still need to go through the legal process, but when he was given an opportunity here, it was under strict guidelines and we made it clear there was a zero tolerance policy.”

Taylor is the the former UGA defensive tackle who was dismissed from the Bulldogs last summer after being arrested on an aggravated assault/family violence charge.

On Saturday night, Taylor was arrested and charged with domestic violence third degree assault and domestic violence third degree criminal mischief by the Tuscaloosa Police Department.

The 24-year old female victim had minor injuries to her neck, according to the report. Police also found a bedroom closest door with a hole punched in it.

Last summer, Taylor was dismissed from UGA after two legal issues within a few months. The final straw was a police response to a third-party complaint that Taylor had physically assaulted his girlfriend during a domestic dispute at McWhorter Hall dormitory. Police said evidence and witness accounts indicate the 6-foot-4, 340-pound Taylor “choked” and “struck with a closed fist” his 5-11, 170-pound female victim. The case remains pending and unresolved in Athens.

Last March, Taylor was one of four Georgia football players arrested for theft by deception after they were caught double-cashing meal reimbursement checks.

Taylor played at Jenkins County High School, and signed with UGA in 2012. He spent this past season at a junior college before enrolling at Alabama in January.

On signing day last month, Saban strongly defended his decision to sign Taylor, calling it a “university decision” and stating that it was a “decision that got made by a lot of people here.”

“We recruited this young man out of high school, and we felt that from what we knew about him, what his high school coach said, what the people at the school that he was at said about him, and where he came from in junior college, that he was the kind of guy that deserved a second chance,” Saban said. “But with that chance, we also have stipulations of things that he needs to do from a personal development standpoint so that he won’t make any kind of mistake like this ever again.

“That’s an ongoing process with him, and that’s something that we continue to monitor, and he has done a very good job with.”

  • UPDATE: Alabama athletics director Bill Battle also released a statement after Taylor’s dismissal: “Representing this University is a privilege that none of us can take for granted. As I noted in my comments when the decision was made to allow Jonathan Taylor to attend the University on a football scholarship, I believe in second chances. I still do. However, being successful in that second chance requires responsibility and accountability. In Jonathan’s situation, the University and the Department of Athletics set forth very clear standards of accountability and expectations of conduct. Jonathan was afforded a chance to successfully overcome the difficulties that resulted in his departure from the University of Georgia. Unfortunately, it appears that he was unable to do so, in spite of extensive efforts to assist him. All of us hope that Jonathan and the young lady involved can deal constructively with the issues that led to this situation, and their aftermath, so that both of them can have productive, healthy futures. Violent conduct by any representative of the University of Alabama athletics department will not be tolerated. More than ever, we take seriously the responsibility that all of us have to represent our University and our state in the best way possible – in competition and in daily life.”

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