Pettway, who was dismissed from the team following a February arrest. After spending this past season with at East Mississippi Community College, he re-signed with the Crimson Tide on Friday.
Saban said Pettway is the only player of the four who were dismissed in February who had a chance to return.
“The university made some things that this particular guy (Pettway) could do, and if he did all those things, they would look at letting him back in school,” Saban said Sunday. “Based on what he did, based on his punishment and penalty, and based on what was required for him to go through a series of things, the university would make a decision to let him back in school, which he wanted to come back. He did all of those things.
"The university made a decision that he could come back. We made a decision that we wanted him back. We know D.J. Pettway very well. He certainly made a mistake in terms of what he did. We felt that this one person, because he did the things he was required to do, deserved a second chance.”
Pettway played for the Tide during the 2011 and 2012 seasons. Saban said other than the incident that lead to the arrest, Pettway didn’t get in trouble during his time at Alabama.
“D.J. was never a bad guy when he was here,” Saban said. “We never had a lot of problems with him before. He did make a horrible decision to be involved with this incident but his involvement and the severity of his punishment was based on his involvement. Those are the guidelines that were set for him to get an opportunity to come back. No one else has that opportunity.”
Saban said he didn’t communicate with Pettway until the university administration made its decision.
“I told D.J. when the die was cast and this happened that if he did the things he was supposed to do we would certainly take it into consideration based on how he manages himself and things from now to coming back,” Saban said. “Until the university made the decision to allow him back in school, or cleared us to be able to recruit him, so we thought he could get back in school, we didn’t have any communication with him.”
Two Tide players who met with reporters Sunday were pleased Pettway was given a second chance.
“He helped us out when he was here,” linebacker C.J. Mosley said. “It’s good that he got his things cleared up. It’s always good to get a second chance. Hopefully, he takes advantage of it.”
Added safety Landon Collins, “He was a great player when he was here. We expect him to come back with his head on strong and ready to play.”