Dispatches from the Creation Wars

Saban’s Latest Departure

I laughed when I saw Sportscenter last night and they talked about how no one knew what Nick Saban was gonna say at this morning’s news conference about whether he was gonna go to Alabama or not. Having watched Saban for a long, long time, I can tell you that there was no mystery at all to me. In fact, two weeks ago when he feigned such outrage at the media for daring to ask him about it I laughed and knew right then that he was gone. This is Saban’s M.O. and it has been for a long time.

He did the same thing at Michigan State when he took the LSU job, said repeatedly that there was no truth at all to the rumors and that he wanted to be at MSU until his bones turned to dust, and how dare you keep asking him about it. And then we all laughed when he was sitting in an LSU plane on the runway at the Lansing airport, waiting for his assistant coaches to show up to go with him. I think it speaks volumes that not one of his assistants, all of whom were not only offered their same jobs at LSU but were offered substantial raises as well, accepted his offer and left him sitting on the plane waiting while they held a press conference on the MSU campus. Saban makes Larry Brown look like a loyal labrador by comparison.

Comments

  1. #1 Bob Munck
    January 3, 2007

    I think it speaks volumes that not one of his assistants, all of whom were not only offered their same jobs at LSU but were offered substantial raises as well, said no to him and left him sitting on the plane waiting while they held a press conference on the MSU campus.

    I know nothing of the facts, but that sentence doesn’t make sense. Should the part I’ve emboldened be “all?”

  2. #2 flatlander100
    January 3, 2007

    And yet, the Bama sports information office will now begin cranking out reams of blather about Sabin being devoted to molding fine young men and building character. Just as it did for the coach they had to fire at Bama after he was nabbed in a strip joint with hookers I think soon after being hired. Just as every major school has done for every coach let go for harassing athletic department secretaries, etc. And very few of the “rah rah” home town university press at places like Baton Rouge and East Lansing and nearly all the rest so much as raise an eyebrow. Tis enough to gag a maggot.

  3. #3 Bob Munck
    January 3, 2007

    Argh! You should have changed “and left him sitting” also.

  4. #4 SLC
    January 4, 2007

    The lack of loyality of head coaches to their positions is reciprocated in spades by the lack of loyality of university presidents and sports team owners who have no compunction whatever against firing a coach in the middle of his contract (i.e. there is no loyalty downward nor loyalty upward in big time athletics). In the case of pro sports, a former Washintion area sports reporter, Warner Wolf, put it best, “never fire the players, always fire the coach.” To which may be added, never fire the owner (in the local case, Washington Redskin owner Daniel Snyder who is more responsible for his teams lack of sucess then any of the coaches he has hired and fired).

  5. #5 Matthew
    January 4, 2007

    I can’t really blame him for lying in this case. What choice did he have? He could have done 3 things. Admitted that he was in discussions, thus undermining his team. Been vague and not really answer the question, thus implicitly admitting that he was at least thinking about it; undermining the team. Or lied, and only the media gets their feelings hurt. I’d go with lying under his circumstances as well. The media doesn’t have a right to know the truth.

  6. #6 Jeff Hebert
    January 4, 2007

    Matthew said:

    I can’t really blame him for lying in this case. What choice did he have? He could have done 3 things.

    Or as Peter King points out, he could have simply said, “I’m sorry, but I don’t discuss my contract. Ever. It leads to nothing but trouble, so I’m not gonna do it. Period.”

    There’s always an option besides lying.

  7. #7 Matthew
    January 4, 2007

    If he consistently said that throughout his career it might work. But if he suddenly pulled that line out of the hat in this situation, it would be an implicit “yes, I’m at least interested”.

    I don’t see why lying is such a bad thing. If the person asking the question has no right to know the answer, and is not hurt by lying, then doing what is in your best interest, including lying, seems perfectly acceptable to me.

  8. #8 Poly
    January 4, 2007

    Jeff Herbert said:

    There’s always an option besides lying.

    Except that inveterate liars neve seem to take that option.

    Matthew said:

    I don’t see why lying is such a bad thing. If the person asking the question has no right to know the answer, and is not hurt by lying, then doing what is in your best interest, including lying, seems perfectly acceptable to me.

    I don’t want to get into philosphy here, but egoist ethics is a fallacy. In reality, one almost always has a duty to not mislead someone, somewhere. Even if in this case it would not be to the direct questioner, there are always potentially involved actors somewhere that one must take into account. And since this was a public statement, how could Saban know he was not misleading someone else to whom he did have a duty not to mislead? For just one example, the people who took Saban at his word and altered their own behavior accordingly.

  9. #9 kehrsam
    January 4, 2007

    In addition, there is the small-scale of the issues involved that lying seems silly. Bush lying about whether Rumsfeld would stay on after the election I understand: There was about to be a referendum on his policy, and he didn’t want to be seen as changing the policy and caving into his critics. But this is sports, and the Dolphins were out of the playoffs anyway, so what would he undermine?

    I hope all the recruits Alabama signed in November are in negotiations with other schools.

  10. #10 kehrsam
    January 4, 2007

    In addition, there is the small-scale of the issues involved that lying seems silly. Bush lying about whether Rumsfeld would stay on after the election I understand: There was about to be a referendum on his policy, and he didn’t want to be seen as changing the policy and caving into his critics. But this is sports, and the Dolphins were out of the playoffs anyway, so what would he undermine?

    I hope all the recruits Alabama signed in November are in negotiations with other schools.

  11. #11 hoody
    January 4, 2007

    He and Dennis Erickson are of the same stripe.

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