Defensive tackle Jonathon Taylor has been dismissed from the University of Alabama after his Saturday night arrest. Taylor was charged with domestic violence in the third degree, assault and domestic violence in the same degree as well as criminal mischief, according to the Tuscaloosa Police Department. This is his second case of domestic violence. Last year he was released from the University of Georgia under similar circumstances. He was released in July, and signed with the University of Alabama about six months later. This news comes after an Alabama wide receiver was arrested for driving under the influence Saturday night.
Nick Saban took a big chance with allowing Taylor to join this talented Alabama team, and now it would appear that it is blowing up in his face. The general reaction to Taylor’s arrest is surprise, but can people really be surprised that a violent man with a history of domestic abuse was arrested yet again for domestic violence? It is time that the NCAA sent a strong message to players saying that they will not tolerate this type of behavior. Taylor should have been suspended from all NCAA activities after his first run in with the law.
His first brush with the law came in July 2014 after the 6-4, 340 pound Taylor struck his then-girlfriend with a closed fist. After that incident he was dismissed from Georgia, and from their went on to play football for Copiah-Lincoln Community College in Mississippi. Nick Saban believed that he was the type of person that deserved a second chance. This latest domestic violence charge came about after his current girlfriend called the police, and told them that she had been hit by her boyfriend. The police arrived on the scene to find her with visible marks on her neck and face, as well as finding a closet door with a hole punched in it. For this, Taylor will be dismissed from the University of Alabama.
Taylor obviously did not deserve a second chance. Playing college football for the SEC is a privileged, not a right. He should have shown a little more gratitude to the program that decided to go out on a limb and give him a second chance. He had the opportunity to re-start his college football career at a prestigious program, but it would seem that asking him to refrain from beating up his girlfriend behind closed doors was just a little too much to ask.
At least the University of Alabama had the sense to have a zero tolerance policy with this type of behavior, even though they should not have given him a second chance to begin with because of his past domestic violence issues. They can move on from this incident, with a new zero tolerance policy for all domestic violence issues involving players. Taylor being dismissed from the University of Alabama could very well be a positive after all; now, the university can move forward and try to be an example to other colleges in how to deal with this type of behavior from student athletes.
Opinion by James Dixson
Photo by: Phillip Hendon – Flickr License