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- American football coach
A day after his second domestic violence arrest in less than a year, Jonathan Taylor has been dismissed from another SEC school.
Alabama coach Nick Saban announced Sunday that Taylor, who was dismissed from Georgia in July, is no longer a part of the Crimson Tide program following his Saturday night arrest.
“Jonathan Taylor has been dismissed from the team and is no longer a part of our program,” Saban said in a statement. “This will still need to go through the legal process, but when he was given an opportunity here, it was under strict guidelines and we made it clear there was a zero tolerance policy.”
The 21-year-old Taylor, a 6-foot-4, 335-pound defensive lineman, was involved in an altercation with his 24-year-old girlfriend on Saturday evening at approximately 6:00 p.m. that resulted in “minor injuries to her neck,” according to Tuscaloosa Police. As a result, Taylor was arrested and charged with domestic violence third degree assault and domestic violence third degree criminal mischief.
Alabama athletic director Bill Battle also issued a statement shortly after Taylor’s dismissal was announced.
“Representing this University is a privilege that none of us can take for granted. As I noted in my comments when the decision was made to allow Jonathan Taylor to attend the University on a football scholarship, I believe in second chances. I still do. However, being successful in that second chance requires responsibility and accountability. In Jonathan’s situation, the University and the Department of Athletics set forth very clear standards of accountability and expectations of conduct. Jonathan was afforded a chance to successfully overcome the difficulties that resulted in his departure from the University of Georgia.
Unfortunately, it appears that he was unable to do so, in spite of extensive efforts to assist him. All of us hope that Jonathan and the young lady involved can deal constructively with the issues that led to this situation, and their aftermath, so that both of them can have productive, healthy futures. Violent conduct by any representative of the University of Alabama athletics department will not be tolerated. More than ever, we take seriously the responsibility that all of us have to represent our University and our state in the best way possible – in competition and in daily life.”
Taylor was previously arrested for domestic violence in Georgia last summer, leading to his dismissal from the Bulldogs' program. After spending a season playing at Copiah-Lincoln Community College in Mississippi, Taylor enrolled at Alabama in January.
After his enrollment, Saban said that Taylor was worthy of a second chance.
"I said this before that when people are young – and that is not a mistake that we condone in any shape or form, that's (disrespectful) to any person, let alone a female – there is some occasion to not condemn them for life, but to give them another chance," Saban said in February, per TideSports.com.
"It's up to them to prove that they deserve that chance. And when they get that opportunity they need to definitely do their very best to take advantage of it. This is the decision that we made. I know the sensitivity of the issue, and we're going to do what we can to help this young man have success here and not have issues anymore."
While acting swiftly to deal with Taylor's legal issues, the program has not commented on the DUI arrest of safety Geno Smith. Smith, a senior who had been practicing with the first team at free safety, was previously arrested for DUI in August 2013 and was suspended for that season's opener as a result.
Saban is scheduled to speak with the media on Monday.
For more Alabama news, visit TideSports.com.
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