Nick Saban Says Friends Could Have Stopped Henry Ruggs Crash
Henry Ruggs Friends Could Have Stopped Crash ... Says Nick Saban
2/17/2022 12:26 PM PT
Nick Saban brought up former Alabama star Henry Ruggs in an emotional speech last month ... saying if Ruggs' friends were better leaders, they could have prevented his tragic accident.
Saban led a discussion at the Alabama Football Coaches Association convention ... and at one point, explained how players care "more than ever before" about what others think of them -- and how it's affecting their opportunities to be a role model.
The Crimson Tide coach used two examples to get his point across -- one being Ruggs' serious fatal DUI crash in November, in which 23-year-old Tina Tintor died.
"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," Saban said, "[it] probably would have pissed him off, probably would have made him mad. [He] 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 MPH and running into the ass-end of somebody and killing 'em?"
Saban explains Ruggs had zero issues in Tuscaloosa and is a "good kid" ... but now, his career is in jeopardy and he faces a mountain of legal issues.
While he's not saying Ruggs wasn't responsible for his own decisions, it's clear Saban believes someone close to him could have helped during a moment of weakness.
"So what kinda friend were you?" Saban asked. "What kinda leader were you when you allowed the guy to do it? But nobody wants to do it because they're afraid of what somebody's gonna think of you."
Saban's quotes are getting mixed reviews on social media -- with some saying it's Ruggs' fault and his alone, and others claiming the coach is spreading invaluable knowledge.
As for Ruggs, he's facing 5 charges for his alleged role in the crash ... and could face a ton of time behind bars if convicted.