Nick Saban said one option to address the Penn State tragedy might be a ticket tax on athletic events and giving the proceeds to child abuse funds.
The Alabama coach said the priority should be the same as in disciplining a player: Try to produce some good from a negative situation.
Longtime Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky was convicted last month of sexually abusing 10 boys, sometimes on campus.
”This is a very, very criminal situation that probably reflects poorly on a lot of folks,” Saban told a small group of reporters before speaking at Southeastern Conference media days. ”It’s probably too almost raw to really have a feeling that I can express. I think that what we all should probably be thinking a little bit more about is what do we want to be the outcome of this? Something that’s a win-win type thing, for kids in the future, the people that are there now, the players that are there now.
”Maybe they ought to tax all the tickets that they sell on athletics and give the proceeds to some child abuse organization. Or something like that, rather than worrying about some punishment that is really going to have no positive affect on anything.”
The Alabama coach didn’t go into details of how a tax would be implemented. He stressed his comments had to do more with philosophy than a real recommendation.
”I probably shouldn’t have said that. I’m just a regular old coach,” Saban said. ”I worry about what they do on third down. A lot of times we do the same thing with players. Everybody’s always worried about what’s the punishment? The way I try to always look at it is, what’s the outcome? What outcome do we want? Sometimes I even say that to the player, what outcome do you want? Do you want to graduate from school? Do you want to play in the NFL some day? If that’s the outcome that you want, this behavior is not becoming of that. So what do we need to do to make it better?”
A report said university officials, including former football coach Joe Paterno, concealed child sex abuse allegations against Sandusky more than a decade ago to avoid bad publicity.
Saban, who has led the Crimson Tide to two national titles in the past three seasons, also said any perception that football coaches wield too much power doesn’t apply at Alabama. Saban, however, has been described as the most powerful man in sports.
He also said he has faith that Alabama tries ”to promote the moral obligation that we all have to protect other folks.”
”I can’t speak for everybody, but I can speak for the University of Alabama,” he said. ”I think if we had any kind of issue it would not be my decision as to what we did. It would be a bigger decision than me, and I would want it to be that way. I have total faith, trust and confidence in (university system Chancellor Robert) Witt, that we would make the decisions with the utmost honesty and integrity and sort of moral ethics as we possibly could.
”Everybody has a responsibility and obligation to represent their institution that way, and I believe in that.”