During his press conference Monday, Saban showed off a "golfball-size bruise" on his left forearm to reporters, according to On3Sports' Alex Byington.
“I’ve still got a big bruise on my arm from the Texas A&M game,” Saban said at Monday’s press conference, nine days after the 41-38 loss. “I can use that as motivation.”
Saban revealed the injury while addressing incidents involving fans that led to arrests and six-figure fines for programs, particularly the incident at Neyland Stadium on Saturday night during the final minutes of the Ole Miss-Tennessee game.
On Monday, the Southeastern Conference announced it planned to assess a financial penalty against the University of Tennessee, which must meet requirements set forth by Commissioner Greg Sankey after fans threw debris onto the field, interrupting and delaying the final minute of the game.
"The disruption of Saturday night's game is unacceptable and cannot be repeated on any SEC campus," said SEC Commissioner Sankey via a news release. "Today's actions are consistent with the oversight assigned by the membership to the SEC office, including the financial penalty and review of alcohol availability. We will use this opportunity to reemphasize to each SEC member the importance of providing a safe environment even with the intensity of competition that occurs every week. We will also reengage our membership in further review of the alcohol availability policy to consider additional measures for the sale and management of alcohol while providing the appropriate environment for collegiate competition."
The University of Tennessee will need to meet the following guidelines, according to SECSports.com:
- Be assessed a financial penalty of $250,000, which will be deducted from the University's share of SEC revenue distribution.
- Be required to use all available resources, including security, stadium, and television video, to identify individuals who threw objects onto the playing field or at the opposing team. All individuals identified as having been involved in disrupting the game shall be prohibited from attending Tennessee Athletics events for the remainder of the 2021-22 academic and athletic year.
- Review and update its Athletics Department game management procedures and alcohol availability policies to prevent a recurrence of Saturday night's disruption, which shall include an evaluation of agreed-upon SEC Sportsmanship, Game Management, and Alcohol policies to verify full compliance with existing standards.
- Following completion of this review and prior to the University of Tennessee's next home football game, the University shall provide a report to the Conference Office to summarize its efforts to identify and penalize offenders and its plan to enact policies to prevent future similar incidents while ensuring compliance with Conference standards.
The conference does not, however, plan to prohibit alcohol sales privileges for the University of Tennessee but does reserve the right to do so if the aforementioned guidelines are not met.
Alabama's October 9 loss to A&M snapped the Tide's 100-game winning streak against unranked opponents, a 19-game winning streak dating back to the Tide's 2020 national championship season and was Saban's first-ever loss to one of his former assistant coaches in A&M head coach Jimbo Fisher.
"Hopefully we'll learn a lot from this," Saban told reporters after the game via ESPN. "We still can accomplish everything we want to accomplish, but we have to do things better than we did tonight. We have to play better, we have to be more consistent, we have to finish drives, we have to get more turnovers on defense, we have to get more stops on defense. There are a lot of things we need to fix."
The Tide rallied back from a 24-10 halftime deficit to eventually move ahead 38-31 with 5:00 remaining in the fourth quarter.
A&M responded with a 25-yard touchdown pass from Zach Calzada to Ainais Smith two minutes later to tie the game and a 28-yard game-winning field goal by Seth Small as time expired.