Wells Attempts to Explain Decision

In a turn of events that is no longer unprecedented in Southeastern Conference sports, Alabama baseball coach Jim Wells faced questions Wednesday afternoon about his decision to return to the position he resigned just six days ago.

"I realized what I had after I let it go, and I wanted to get it back," he said. "I can't give it to you A-B-C. I can just tell you I know it wasn't right and I'm sorry to put you folks through this."

Wells didn't leave Alabama for another job like Florida basketball coach Billy Donovan did a few weeks ago, however. He resigned without any definite plan. In his departing statement last week, Wells said he was looking forward to spending more time with his wife and three children.

Today he joked, "They don't want me there. This is a family decision. ‘Please get out of the house.' There's only so many times you can sharpen the knives."

Wells also said on Wednesday, "things over in Louisiana" where his mother lives, "are getting better."

Wells said he decided on Monday morning that he wanted this old job back.

"Then I had to deal with, ‘Well how could you come back after this, after you've retired, resigned.' Well, it's my life, my family's life, and I'll just face the music and do it. I saw how much I missed it, and the timing wasn't right."

Wells didn't know whether or not athletics director Mal Moore would welcome him back when he called him Wednesday morning, he said. He thanked Moore and President Robert E. Witt for allowing him to return. He blamed himself for making a decision he said was premature.

"It's pretty simple," he said. "This is all self-inflicted. No one did this to me. I wanted to take time but this job doesn't allow you to take time. One deal is I think if I would have allowed myself more time we wouldn't have to go through this. No one did that to me. I did that to myself."

Wells admitted that facilities and his ability to recruit with the scholarship disparity Alabama suffers were a part of the reason he was feeling gloomy about his position in the time leading up to his resignation, but, he said, "that wasn't the core of it."

"Those are all factors out there," he said. "What their value is varies. It's strictly me. I know that's an easy way out. That wasn't the core of it. Yeah, we'd like to have it and one day it will be here. It wasn't the number one thing. The number one thing was dealing with me.

As for his staff, who had been job hunting over the past week, Wells said, "No changes at this time but naturally guys for self preservations were looking for what was out there and there's a lot of movement in college baseball now."

After the formal press conference Wells neither confirmed nor denied a report that former Wells assistant and current Northwestern State (Louisiana) head coach Mitch Gaspard would return to join Wells staff.


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