Saban Pays Tribute To Pat Summitt

One of the most shocking news stories of Tuesday was that famed Tennessee Women's Basketball Coach Pat Summitt has been diagnosed with early onset of dementia. Alabama Coach Nick Saban was asked to comment on the situation following Tuesday's Crimson Tide football practice.

Alabama Football Coach Nick Saban said that he knows Tennessee Women's Basketball Coach Pat Summitt "both as a person and as a coach."

He said, "I have a tremendous amount of respect for her as a person and as a coach who has probably achieved as much as anyone in our profession.

"Our thoughts and prayers are with her and her family. I hope that she can continue to affect young people and live a normal healthy life for many years to come."

Summitt, who has coached at Tennessee for for 38 years and is in the Basketball Hall of Fame, intends to coach this year.

"Certainly she has made a mark in our profession that few will be able to match or challenge," Saban said, "and I have a tremendous amount of respect for the way her players always compete and respond to her and have a tremendous amount of loyalty to her."

Also in the news Tuesday was word from Fernandino Beach, Fla., that a man had been arrested in connection with the early summer death of Alabama football player Aaron Douglas. Douglas, a junior college transfer from Maryville, Tenn., had gone through spring practice at Alabama.

Asked about the arrest, Saban said, "Nothing can erase the pain of what happened with Aaron. It was tough on our team when you lose a comrade and lose someone that's a part of your team. Certainly I think that at least now the person who did the wrongdoing is being held accountable for it, which is a positive thing. But nothing can really make that wrong right.

"It is good that maybe this person will be convicted and not be able to do this type of stuff to other young people. I'm hopeful that we can crack down on all that in all areas so we wouldn't have that type of problem in our country with young people."

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