Alabama wide receiver Jermaine Burton played in Saturday’s win against Mississippi State as the school reviewed an incident in which the player allegedly struck a female fan as Tennessee students rush the field following their upset over the Crimson Tide.
Saban said after the game he didn’t think it was “necessary to suspend the guy” over the incident. He said the team had Burton in a counseling program in order for him to have “the proper respect for other people.” He added that Burton and himself were among those “scared.”
Pat McAfee, who hosts the “Pat McAfee Show” and is a broadcaster for ESPN, appeared on OutKick’s “Don’t @ Me with Dan Dakich” on Monday and said Burton should’ve been suspended or at least disciplined in some better way.
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“I think, obviously, the video is completely contradictory to the fear… He looked very comfortable that whole time. While the Knoxville, Tennessee, people are running, he was walking off the field,” McAfee said of Burton. “I’ve been a part of a couple field stormings at other people’s places. Louisville did it against us and there was a couple guys that almost got speared because they almost ran into a couple of my teammates. It’s never a good experience.”
The former NFL punter said he wasn’t sure how Burton didn’t get some type of punishment just for the sake of optics.
“But I don’t know how Saban doesn’t punish that guy. I don’t know how – just for the optics of it,” McAfee told Dakich. “Just for, you’re playing Mississippi State. You’re about to beat the hell out of him. Just as a message going forward. OK, I understand you’re a football player, they came onto your field… but you can’t just be openly slapping women.
ALABAMA’S NICK SABAN ‘DIDN’T THINK IT WAS NECESSARY’ TO SUSPEND RECEIVER WHO STRUCK TENNESSEE FAN
“It’s a terrible situation. I think they put all of college football in a bad spot by not punishing him.… In my eyes, I don’t think Saban made the right play here. I think you have to at least do some sort of punishment. I’m happy to hear the girl’s OK but any time you put your hands on a woman I think it should be a message sent to everybody like ‘Hey, we can’t have that in our particular community, our society. It’s not good for football. It’s not good for our program. It’s certainly not good for you as a human to think we could do that.’
“I think there should’ve been some punishment and I have no idea how it goes moving forward.”
Alabama beat Mississippi State 30-6.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.