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Sanctimonious Saban Lays It On Way Too Thick About His Non-Move To Texas

BCS Championship FootballSports fans, you already know about the one story that dominated the sports scene last week — If Mack Brown is out at Texas, will Nick Saban replace him?  Day after day, minute after minute, Brown/Saban/Texas talk swirled.

Then finally on Friday word came that Saban would sign yet another new deal with Bama.  (No wonder, UA’s giving him extensions and raises every few months.)  On Saturday, the coach had this to say:

 

“The way this sort of got spun, it was a little bit more like, ‘OK, he got a new contract at Alabama, so he’s going to stay at Alabama instead of going to Texas.  I never considered going to Texas.  That wasn’t even a conversation.

I knew that if Mack stepped down, there would probably be an opportunity, but it wasn’t something I was interested in doing, not at this stage in my career…

We’ve been trying to do this thing with Alabama all the way back into the season.  It really wasn’t about the contract.  It was about staying at Alabama, wanting to be at Alabama, wanting to continue to do good things for Alabama and our commitment to the players here, the university and the community.”

 

That whole “it really wasn’t about the contract” part?  Yeah, that’s a lie.

Readers of the site know that this writer in particular doesn’t view Saban’s dismissal of the Bama job while still the Miami Dolphins’ coach as that big of a deal.  Coaches blow off job opportunities and dance around job offers in order to keep their teams focused all the time.  That goes with the territory.  Sure, Saban was pressed again and again until he finally flat-out lied about the Alabama situation.  But again, what was he supposed to do?  Tell the truth and derail the Dolphins’ year?

This situation, however, is very much different.  The Crimson Tide team doesn’t have another game for weeks.  And last week’s nonsense was 100% about the contract.  If it were really only about “staying at Alabama, wanting to be at Alabama,” Saban could have spoken out before getting his new contract, couldn’t he?

Before Tide fans chime in — and, for the record, we said repeatedly that we didn’t believe he’d leave Tuscaloosa — Saban had said previously that he wanted to stay at Alabama.  We know that, no need to email.  When he signed a new deal in March of 2012 the coach said: “From my standpoint, the acceptance of this extension represents our commitment — my commitment, our family’s commitment — to the University of Alabama for the rest of our career.  We made that decision after the season when other people were interested.”  He then had his contract “amended” and “restated” again this past April.

But here’s our question: Why?  Why the need for a new contract this week?  If he’s already committed to Alabama for the rest of his career, why did Saban need his salary jacked again?  Why did he dance around the job topic while on ESPN a week ago?

Now we could have let all this slide had Saban not gotten a tad too sanctimonius about the way this all worked out for Texas’ Brown:

 

“I have a tremendous amount of respect for Mack Brown.  Mack Brown is the coach at Texas.  He deserves the right, based on his body of work, to be able to leave the program the way he wants to leave the program.  It wasn’t fair to him or to me to be speculating about this job, which I haven’t talked to anybody there about.

Really, the whole thing from my perspective stunk, but there wasn’t a hell of a lot I could to about it.”

 

Total.  Complete.  Utter… BS.

Unless Saban was so deep into “the process” that he was totally incommunicado, he could have could put an end to the Texas talk any day last week prior to finalizing his Bama pact.  He could have let Bill Battle or Jimmy Sexton put out a press release stating, “We’re working on a new deal and Saban is not even considering leaving Alabama.”  He could have let Miss Terry do the talking.  He could have pulled out his cell phone and called any writer or talkshow host in the country with a definitive answer to protect poor ol’ Mack Brown.

He didn’t.

He didn’t because doing so would have given away leverage and contract negotiations are all about leverage.  Anyone over the age of 10 with an IQ higher to match knows that to be true.  So there is no arguing what just happened in the Heart of Dixie.  Saban and Sexton — the wonder agent who’s mastered this routine — let everyone sweat just long enough to make sure the coach’s new deal would be super-sized and Tide fans would appreciate their beloved leader just a little bit more.  No more of this underappreciation crap for Saint Nick.

The coach may be committed to Bama, just not so much so to tell the school, “The last contract was fine, I’m not leaving, put that cash back into the academic side of the school.”  Not so much to shut down the Texas talk and help out Brown until he received another extension and another raise.

Fair enough.

But for Saban to then come out and say — after the contract was agreed upon — that “there wasn’t a hell of a lot” he could do about all the speculation?  Please.  We believe a line from “The Outlaw Josey Wales” sums up our feelings pretty well…

 

Don't piss down my back and tell me its raining

 

 

 


5 comments
AllTideUp
AllTideUp

I honestly don't know what Saban was supposed to do.  Is the implication here that if Saban had been more adamant recently then Mack Brown wouldn't have been forced out?  Mack was on his way out whether Saban was available for/interested in Texas or not.  Would Texas really base their decision on the iffy prospect of Saban leaving Bama?  The two situations were completely separate.

Is the criticism over the idea that Saban DID in fact have the ability to cull the storm by saying they were working on a contract rather than handling it all behind closed doors?  The thought then being that his criticism of media reports was deceitful posturing rather than a genuine expression of frustration.  Well, I know Saban criticizes the media too much, but how was Saban supposed to quell the rumors?  Gus Malzahn recently agreed to a new deal with Auburn although apparently it hasn't been signed.  Everybody knows about it.  There were press releases even, and people still think there's a shot of him going to Texas.  Heck, there are still a couple of outlets that consider Saban a possibility even though the contract has already been signed.  Saban is obviously a more high profile candidate so naturally there is more buzz and speculation around him compared to others, but still.


Like others have said, Saban(and his wife) had already said he had no interest in Texas.  I don't see any material difference in those statements and throwing a bone to the media in the final week saying there was a contract on the verge of being signed.  Either way, the officials at UA knew what was happening.  They knew they were going to be leveraged the day the first rumor of Saban going to Texas came out.  And we all know they were going to give in.  The only question was what the price tag was going to be.  I don't see how Saban playing the leverage game with UA officials behind closed doors has any real impact on what the media reports or doesn't report...as far as rumors go that is.  

And don't you think the same leverage game would have been played whether the media ever took seriously the notion of Saban going to Texas?  Hypothetically speaking, if the media had completely ignored the story then Jimmy Sexton and the other relevant figures would have all taken the same course of action.



JefferyZ
JefferyZ

Let's see.  Since Coach Saban (and his wife) said repeatedly for months he wasn't leaving Alabama, but didn't say anything for the week leading up to his new contract, you feel he didn't deny interest in Texas enough?  Is that right? Since he didn't COMPLETELY eliminate any leverage his agent had, he was being sanctimonious when he told the truth that he was never interested in Texas? Correct?  


Here's a fact for you.  Kevin Sumlin makes over 5 mil a year.  And he hasn't won a division championship, much less a conference championship, much much less a National Championship, of which Nick Saban has FOUR.  Saban deserves every dollar his agent gets him.  And he deserves a week of no comment. 



jrglisson
jrglisson

Typical MR.SEC John. Without Coach Saban and constantly writing your negative comments your day would be pretty empty. I still enjoy reading your sight but give it a break. Here we are with FSU/AU in the BCS and all you and their supporters and media can do is rant about Coach Saban and Alabama. Thanks for the PUB and for his salary increase. Roll Tide!

VolCrush
VolCrush

100% agreed. As a tide fan im glad he's at bama, but I've lost a lot of respect for that megalomaniac. I understand the economics of it and he should get his free market set salary, but these are public institutions. How process was shameful.

John at MrSEC
John at MrSEC moderator

@AllTideUp 


That wasn't the point and I'm not sure how anyone could have even arrived at that.


The message was pretty clear: I had no problem with Saban using Texas for leverage because that's what coaches do.  They do that -- every... single... time -- by letting stories swirl and dancing around the topic when asked (as Saban did on ESPN).  Again, no problems with any of that.


Where he got holier than thou was in his comment post-agreement that the situation "stunk" and there wasn't "a hell of a lot" he could have done about it.  That, as I stated, was a lie.  If he didn't want the speculation for poor Mack Brown, all he had to do was say on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday what he said on Friday and Saturday.  Notice how the story went bye-bye ASAP when he gave a definitive answer?


He played the game.  Fine.  They all do.  But he shouldn't come out and act like everyone else made it LOOK like he was playing the game.  That's incredibly weak.  And only children and imbeciles -- or a few fans who can't see reality when it comes to their coach -- would view it any other way.


Just to reiterate: He said he had no interest during the season.  Then his wife did an interview where she said her husband wasn't as appreciated as should be.  Then the Texas story blew up again after the season and Saban went into silent mode.  When asked on ESPN he dodged the question rather than give a definitive answer (like the one he'd give a week later after he got his new deal).  Surprise, surprise, he then got that new extension/raise from Alabama.  The problem comes with him suggesting the media made things rough on Brown, not him.  As stated, he could have easily said, "I love Alabama so I don't even need a raise or extension to stay."  He didn't do that.


Thanks for visiting the site,

John

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