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Old 06-18-2007, 04:11 PM   #1
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Default Nick Saban: football coach

Saban's priorities clear: Winning, not speaking

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (AP) -- Alabama's Nick Saban is a football coach, not a pitch man. His domain is the football field and film room, not the podium and banquet circuit.

It's in his contract. Right there on page 11.

The Crimson Tide coach knows, after all, that he'll be judged on wins and titles rather than speeches and commercials, anyway.

"Here's what everybody needs to understand: Why did I get hired here? To do what? Coach football, right? I'm a coach," Saban said Friday in an interview with The Associated Press.

It's why his eight-year, $32 million contract, approved by university trustees on Thursday, stipulates that he doesn't have to make more than 15 appearances a year at alumni gatherings and other such functions. Don't expect to see him in commercials or on billboards either.

Saban said he had a similar limit in place at LSU and other stops. It's why he chose to recruit and hire a staff instead of saying yes to many of the 100 or so requests for appearances that poured in during his first two months on the job.

"It's a full-time job to run this football program and the guys that are on this team and get them to all do what they're supposed to do," Saban said. "I think that's what people expect.

"How many public appearances can you do? How many commercials can you make?"

It's a trade-off most Alabama fans will likely accept even if they'd love a little bigger slice of the $4 million-a-year coach's time.

"This is the way I've always done it," Saban said. "I do it because I know what my priorities are. I know what's important to being successful."

He also knows that his hiring in January raised expectations for a team that went 6-7 last season and hasn't had sustained success in a decade.

Saban did, after all, lead LSU to a Southeastern Conference championship in his second season and a share of the national title two years later. He prefers to talk about "the process" of achieving those successes instead of predicting when (or if) they'll happen.

"You've got to be realistic about your expectations," he said. "Expectations can be a negative when you have high expectations and they're not realistic and they don't come to fruition and everybody gets a negative attitude."

When something bad happens along the way, he won't be among those surprised.

"Something's going to go wrong. Count on it," he said. "Everybody talks about the SEC championship that we won in the second year (at LSU) or the national championship we won in the fourth year. But we lost to UAB the first year."

Saban and his wife, Terry, have already had some highs and lows during their first six months since he left the Miami Dolphins.

The biggest high: 92,000-plus fans filling Bryant-Denny Stadium for a spring game, believed to be a national record for what essentially amounts to a scrimmage.

"Never was there a more heartfelt moment by the Sabans (than) to see that kind of support for what we're trying to do as what there was at the spring game, with all those people coming to support the team," Saban said.

"I want people to understand that and realize that, because we went through a lot to get here."

The lows: He was roundly criticized in Miami for leaving a couple of weeks after vowing, "I'm not going to be the Alabama coach."

He admits to making mistakes, but says he was just trying to stay focused on the team, not himself.

"I was forced to make statements that I shouldn't have made relative to our future, and I was criticized for it," Saban said. "And rightfully so. I did it. I don't want to have grudges and I do care what people think. But I don't criticize others.

"I've got to be responsible for my own self-determination when it comes to that stuff and do the best we can to do it the right way in the future."

By JOHN ZENOR, AP Sports Writer



Sounds good to me. His record speaks for itself.
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Old 06-23-2007, 12:32 PM   #2
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Nice read BuckeyeFan, but I have to disagree with the billboard statement. He is pasted all over the state to remind booster what they have done to the athletic program.

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Old 06-23-2007, 03:54 PM   #3
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As long as the wins roll in, the tide wll roll on with Saban.
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Old 06-24-2007, 11:45 PM   #4
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Saban is an amazing recruiter. I love the line about Saban not being a pitch man to start the article off, though. I would be surprised if Saban did not use this contract clause as a means of telling parents that he'll have more time for their childs needs while Urban Meyer or whoever is out selling cars.

Saban takes a lot of heat for the way he leaves places, but he leaves them in a better spot than when he got there and really, the track record is not that bad. MSU for LSU...obvious. LSU for NFL...it's tempting. NFL after one season for Bama...he likes the college game better, always was clear about this.

I don't know how long he'll be at Alabama, but I believe he'll win there before he leaves.
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Old 06-24-2007, 11:52 PM   #5
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Yup, he definitely left the Dolphins in better shape than when he got there...

If he liked the college game better and was always clear about it, then why did he take a job in the NFL? Oh that's right, they threw a bunch of money at him, just like Alabama did. He truly is a man whore...

The really funny thing for Alabama and all their fans is that in about 2-3 years when he takes another job they get to pay him to not be their coach for 5-6 years since he has no buyout in his contract and it is guaranteed.
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Old 06-25-2007, 05:50 PM   #6
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I think the Dolphins are in better shape now than when he got there, yes. It's difficult to tell because it was one season and a lot of that was tearing down the previous crap, but I think they have a better base than they did a season ago.

Basically, before the season they were a 7-9 to 9-7 range team with NO long term postseason possibilities. They finished below that record, but with a foundation to build for the future...and eventually have postseason possibilities. Cleo Lemon at quarterback is going to hurt any team.
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Old 06-27-2007, 10:31 PM   #7
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Nick Saban is a joke. The guy couldnt do jack with an all-star coaching staff around him. As soon as he saw that things were getting out of hand and that he wasnt able to pull it together, he jumped ship.

He couldnt handle the pressure, nor does he have the talent to coach at the next level. His two seasons in Miami will be looked at long and hard for the rest of his coaching career.

The ONLY reason he coached at Miami was because he's a money hungry whore. He knew he couldnt handle it, so he just cashed in on what he could.
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