Mark Bradley

Mark Bradley is a sports columnist and blogger for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Yes, Nick Saban made a mistake. But it's no laughing matter

Jonathan Taylor's mug shots from Clarke County, Ga.

It's understandable that Georgia fans would be laughing at Nick Saban because, to be honest, Georgia fans don't often get the chance to laugh at Nick Saban. He coaches Alabama, which wins SEC championships and plays for national titles, and that's something Georgia hasn't done lately. He also comes across as rather self-important. ("Self" is a word he uses often, usually in referencing "self-gratification," which is apparently different from plain old gratification. But we digress.)

Saban is being mocked coast-to-coast -- not just from Toccoa to Thomasville -- for taking the defensive lineman Jonathan Taylor, who'd been kicked off Georgia's team after being arrested twice, the second time for domestic violence. Over the weekend, Taylor was arrested in Tuscaloosa for domestic violence and has been dismissed by the Crimson Tide.

Even as we say, "St. Nick really blew this one," and emit a hearty ho-ho-ho, we need to ask: Is this something about which we should be guffawing? Is domestic violence, whether it happens in Athens, Ga., or Tuscaloosa, Ala., in any way funny?

Saban made a bad decision. That much is clear, and it seemed clear even as he was making it. (Taylor was still facing two sets of court dates in Georgia when Alabama accepted him. Could the Tide not have waited to see how those played out?) And I know Bulldog backers are weary of seeing their castoffs -- Mettenberger, Marshall, Matthews, Harvey-Clemons -- land at other high-profile schools.

Still: Domestic violence is never a laughing matter. A Tuscaloosa police report alleges that here's a 24-year-old woman who has injuries to her neck. Let's think about that, shall we?

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About the Author

Mark Bradley is a sports columnist and blogger for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. He has been with the AJC since 1984.