Nick Saban is carrying Alabama’s loss to Texas A&M in his head and on his arm nine days later. Aggies fans rushed the field after the team’s upset of the former No. 1 team and injured the Bama coach in the process.
Nick Saban showed off the golf ball-sized bruise on his forearm at a Monday press conference.
“I can always look at that as a reminder of what it feels like to be in that situation and motivate myself to try to do a better job with our players,” Saban said.
Texas A&M fans stampeded the field after the Aggies kicker drilled a last-second field goal to upset the reigning SEC champs 41-38. It was only the third time in school history A&M has beaten Alabama.
There were more than 106,000 fans in the stands at Kyle Field on Oct. 9 and many of them ended up on the turf following the game. That included former Aggies quarterback Johnny Manziel. Police escorted Nick Saban through the swarm of fans to the tunnels.
The SEC fined Texas A&M $100,000 because fans entered the field of play. It was the second time the conference charged the school after fans rushed the field. The SEC fined the Aggies $50,000 in 2018 after the team beat LSU in a seven-overtime game, ESPN reported.
Saban wouldn’t say if the SEC needs to do more to protect players and coaches from fans.
“I don’t think that’s my question to really answer,” Saban said Monday. “I’ve said this before: We’re in the entertainment business. There’s a lot of people that come to the games. They’ve got a lot of passion and excitement for what they do. Hopefully, as institutions and fans, we’ll always do that in a positive way.”
Nick Saban Not The Only Coach Attacked, SEC Fines Tennessee
The SEC also fined Tennessee after students threw anything they could find on the field following a questionable call on Saturday that led to the Volunteers’ loss to Ole Miss.
The SEC is fining Tennessee $250,000 for the fans’ violent reaction.
“The disruption of Saturday night’s game is unacceptable and cannot be repeated on any SEC campus,” said SEC Commissioner Greg Sankey in a press release.
The outburst began after officials marked tight end Jacob Warren short of a first down after a big play on fourth and 24. Warren was very close to the first down marker and fans thought referees cheated the Volunteers. Tennessee lost 31-26.
Fans hurled beer cans, water bottles, an entire bottle of mustard, even golf balls onto the field following the call, ESPN reported. Officials moved both teams to the middle of the field to protect them, causing a 20-minute delay.
Police escorted Ole Miss Coach Lane Kiffin from the field at the end of the game to protect him from fans. Similar to how they had to protect Nick Saban a week earlier.
Lane Kiffin, who has a complicated history with Tennessee, joked about it at a post-game press conference.
“There were a number of bottles with some brown stuff in them,” Kiffin said. “I’m not sure what it was. It probably wasn’t moonshine. They probably wouldn’t waste moonshine on me.”