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Nick Saban says lack of leadership led to Henry Ruggs’ crash

Nick Saban, who coached former Raiders wide receiver Henry Ruggs at Alabama, lamented in a speech posted online Thursday what he called a lack of leadership that helped lead to the car crash that took a life and ended Ruggs’ career.

Ruggs, a former first-round pick by the Raiders, was released after his car killed 23-year-old Tina Tintor on Nov. 2. He faces felony DUI and reckless-driving charges after he was accused of driving 156 mph.

Saban argued the importance of leadership in general and related it to the Ruggs situation.

“If there was a player in Las Vegas who was drinking at 3 o’clock in the morning with his buddies and his girlfriend and somebody would’ve taken his keys away, it probably would’ve pissed him off. It probably would’ve made him mad,” Saban said. “He probably wouldn’t have thought very much of you for doing that. But would he be better off now, or is he better off where he was going 156 miles an hour running his ass into somebody and killing them?

“And he doesn’t have a career anymore. And he’s a good kid. He never had one problem on our team at Alabama. So what kind of friend were you, what kind of leader were you when you allowed the guy to do it? But nobody wants to do that because they’re afraid of what somebody’s going to think of them.”

Contact reporter Mark Anderson at manderson@reviewjournal.com. Follow @markanderson65 on Twitter.

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