By J.R. Gamble
The Shadow League
Jalen Hurts believes that there’s a false narrative being pushed by Nick Saban and Alabama about his intentions to transfer, despite the fact that Hurts has told Saban and all other inquiring minds that he’s staying to fight for his starting job against The Flyin’ Hawaiian Tua Tagovailoa, who led Alabama back from a 13-0 deficit in last year’s college football National Championship game.
“The narrative has already been created,” says Hurts, who also told reporters he feels like he’s been “counted out.”
“The funniest thing about it is I’ve never said a thing,” Hurts said.
His comments have added another layer of intrigue and media attraction to the country’s most high-profile college quarterback battle.
Hurts licked shots at the coaching staff’s handling of the situation and says he was “shocked” when he heard Saban tell reporters at SEC media day that he had “no idea” whether Hurts would be on the roster for the opening game of the season.
“Coaches can’t control the situation. They will dictate who plays, but as for other variations to it they can’t control it,” Jalen Hurts told reporters. “This whole spring, ever since the title game, they kind of wanted to let it play out. I guess they didn’t think it was a thing or they tried to let it die down like it was not there, because there has always been an elephant in the room. The whole spring, coaches included, no one asked me how I felt. No one asked me what was on my mind.”
Adding to the drama is the comments of Jalen’s mom, Pamela Hurts, who said in a Facebook status Sunday that her son has been “controlled” during his time with the Crimson Tide.
“Wow ignorance is bliss,” Pamela Hurts wrote (h/t TDABamaMag.com). “When has Jalen ever spoken to media about anything other than the team? When has he ever whined, pouted or talk about what ‘y’all’ don’t know takes place behind the scenes? There’s a reason why players aren’t allowed to speak to the media. Jalen spoke his truth, finally, after three years of being compliant and controlled. You have no idea what is and has been going on—and most likely, never will.
“Folks quick to speak highly on his character and demeanor, but know he is completely opposite of those accolades today. If you can turn on this young man today and not your president for any of his rhetoric, you were never with him to begin with.”
Mama threw in the Trump reference so you know she means business. She vehemently defended her son’s right to express his problems with the university, especially after he’s been a loyal soldier, saying all of the right things after he was benched in the biggest game of his life.
Despite the recent friction, Tagovailoa, has been diplomatic about the comp from the start.
There are some media heads who don’t approve of Hurts’ recent outspokenness and think he should be benched.
According to ESPN, “Alabama has not publicly named a starting quarterback for its season-opener against Louisville. Tagovailoa was seen as the favorite heading into spring practices but has spent most of the offseason dealing with a hand injury. That has allowed Hurts to pull himself back into the battle, though he still seems like a clear underdog.”
The damage is already done. Hurts feels disrespected and the football world knows that if Tagovailoa is healthy, Hurts won’t be starting quarterback of the Crimson Tide.
This story originally appeared on TheShadowLeague.com, a site dedicated to journalistically sound sports coverage with a cultural perspective that insightfully informs sports fans worldwide.