Saban Expounds On Pettway Signing

No one has suggested that D.J. Pettway did not make a bad decision last winter when he was one of four Alabama football players involved in robberies of two Alabama students. In fact, Alabama Coach Nick Saban characterized it as a "horrible decision." But other decisions have been made since, including the latest one, Saban bringing Pettway back to the Crimson Tide.

Following defensive end D.J. Pettway's arrest last February with fellow Alabama players Eddie Williams and Tyler Hayes, who admitted to assaulting two students, he was suspended from The University. So were Williams and Hayes and another Tide player, Brent Calloway, who admitted to using one of the student's action cards to purchase snacks from a vending machine.

Pettway was granted youthful offender status, and so his degree of participation is not known. What is known is that Saban said Sunday that Pettway was the only one of the four who had any chance to return to Alabama.

Pettway left Alabama and went to East Mississippi Community Coll;ege, where he was a second team All-America player this year. Last week it was announced that Pettway had signed with the Crimson Tide and will return to the team.

It was revealed that The University – not the athletics department – made the decision to allow Pettway to return to Alabama. The University did not reveal what criteria were in place for Pettway or how, specifically, he dealt with those stipulations, only that he did.

Saban was asked about it Sunday. He said, "First of all, it was a University decision. When this all happened, the die was cast for all of the characters. The University made some things that this particular guy could do and if he did all those things, they would look at letting him back in school.

"Based on what he did, based on his punishment and penalty, and based on what was required for him to go through a series of things, The University would make a decision to let him back in school, which he wanted to come back. He did all of those things. The University made a decision that he could come back. We made a decision that we wanted him back.

"We know D.J. Pettway very well. He certainly made a mistake in terms of what he did. We felt that this one person, because he did the things he was required to do, deserved a second chance.

"D.J. was never a bad guy when he was here. We never had a lot of problems with him before. He did make a horrible decision to be involved with this incident but his involvement and the severity of his punishment was based on his involvement. Those are the guidelines that were set for him to get an opportunity to come back. No one else has that opportunity.

"I told D.J. when the die was cast and this happened that if did the things they were supposed to do we would certainly take it into consideration based on how he manages himself and things from now to coming back. Until The University made the decision to allow him back in school, or cleared us to be able to recruit him, so we thought he could get back in school, we didn't have any communication with him.

"We obviously knew he was at East Mississippi, we obviously watched him play, we thought he played well, as well as Jarran Reed, who we evaluated as well. Until that happened we did not have him here and I did not talk with him."

Both Pettway and Reed signed last week. Pettway is listed as a 6-3, 255-pound defensive end. Reed is a 6-4, 325-pound defensive tackle. Both are four-star signees.

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