A new video that surfaced Thursday night appeared to shed more light on the incident involving Alabama wide receiver Jermaine Burton.
Burton and the Crimson Tide upset Tennessee earlier this month in one of the best college football games of the season. Tennessee fans stormed the field at Neyland Stadium and even tore down the goalposts and threw them into the nearby river.
The new video appeared to show Burton struggling to get through the sea of Volunteers fans in the locker room. He pushes a few fans who were close to him out of the way. When he reaches the end zone, he gets some room to tunnel.
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The fan in question was running onto the field with another person and Burton appeared to reach back and push her down.
Burton came under fire immediately after the match. But as he came under scrutiny for his actions, Alabama coach Nick Saban decided to play him in last week’s game against Mississippi State, a decision he defended earlier this week on his weekly teleconference.
“I think everybody’s always looking at what you’re doing,” Saban told reporters when asked how he considers player discipline through OutKick.
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“I think the difference is what a lot of people think, is discipline necessarily punishment? And you only punish your kids if you think it’s going to change behavior,” he said. “Otherwise, you try to get them to learn from the things they do. And that’s basically how we look at discipline and how we try to discipline our players.”
On Saturday night, Saban said he spoke with Burton and that the wide receiver said he was “scared.”
“I don’t know how many of you have been in that situation. I talked to him. He was scared, I was scared, some of our other players were scared,” Saban said. “I think you learn to respect other people because we have a responsibility to do that, regardless of the circumstances we’re in.
He added: “I spoke to the guy, we have him in a counseling program, it’s not an anger management program like some people have reported today. Nobody ever said that, it’s not a problem, it’s not a problem.”
“It’s about being respectful to other people. I didn’t think it was necessary to suspend the guy, so if you knew the whole story, maybe you wouldn’t either. But I won’t say that.”
Saban said Burton consulted on the situation.
Tennessee coach Josh Heupel was asked Wednesday if Burton should have been punished.
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“I’ll be honest, I haven’t seen the video or paid much attention to anything that’s going on outside of our program,” he said, via On3.com. “There’s enough going on here at Knoxville that we have to continue to develop our roster and our program, so not really get into hypotheticals as far as what’s going on inside our own program.”