Lamichael Fanning has already been penalized once for his... let's say, enthusiastic takedown of Missouri tailback Russell Hansbrough, which drew a flag from officials Saturday for attempting to enliven another perfectly boring, soul-deadening Alabama romp. Now, Fanning is going to be disciplined again, this time by his head coach:
"I think this is a young player who's excited about getting into the game, makes very, very poor judgment on making that play," Saban said. "It's something that we don’t condone here. It's not how we want our players to play. I think he understands that what he did was not done in the right way in terms of being a strong competitor, and we are managing internally things for him to do to make better choices and decisions in the future."
A 6-foot-7, 298-pound redshirt freshman defensive lineman, Fanning will face internal discipline, and Saban said that includes writing letters of apology to Hansbrough and Missouri coach Gary Pinkel. The Columbia (Mo.) Daily Tribune reported Pinkel said he received an apology from Saban on Sunday and an email from Fanning.
"I talked to Gary about it," Saban said. "He understands our position on it."
As a former teammate of Saban's at Kent State and a longtime advocate of both form tackling and devastatingly mind-numbing football himself, Pinkel understands perfectly well that unorthodox displays of exuberance have no place in this inherently violent endeavor. As a young but talented player, Fanning will learn in time to bring live runners to the ground exclusively in standardized, replicable fashion, as approved by management.