AP Photo/JP Waldron, via Cal Sport Media
Alabama coach Nick Saban maintains he didn't know about linebacker Mekhi Brown's sideline confrontation with a staffer, and even chastised a reporter for asking about it.
Brown shoved a Crimson Tide staffer on the sidelines after getting called for unsportsmanlike conduct. The sophomore had been flagged on Alabama's kickoff after cutting into the Bulldogs' lead in the third quarter.
Shortly after, Brown was seen shouting at one of Alabama's staffers before lunging past a teammate at the individual. He was held back by others, including linebacker Keith Holcombe.
Things got testy on the sideline. pic.twitter.com/ubiLwNvaH8
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) January 9, 2018
"I really don't know what you're talking about," Saban said when asked about the incident. "The only thing that I have said to Mekhi Brown was you got a penalty. It was after the whistle. For pushing and shoving, which was an emotional decision, which is selfish on his part that penalized the team, gave them the ball on the 40-yard line instead of the 25-yard line. I just asked him if it was worth it.
"He went back in the game, though, and played and actually made a tackle inside the 20 on the kickoff. So in a time where we have a lot of things to be happy about, it's kind of amazing to me that you would pick out one little negative thing and even ask about it. It's so insignificant to what happened in the game."
Brown retreated to bench further down the sidelines, continuing to yell.
But later in the fourth quarter, Brown was back on special teams and brought down Georgia's Mecole Hardman with a one-armed tackle. This time, teammates, coaches and personnel patted Brown on the shoulders and back, laughing and applauding the play.
Brown, at 6-foot-5 and 241 pounds, had played in 11 of 13 games coming into the championship game.