We rarely hear stories about Nick Saban being a nice guy. Saban is known for running a very tight ship — a style that has obviously translated into tremendous success at the college level. When he coached in the NFL, the style is said to have not worked with professional athletes. We hear that a lot with NFL who players are grown, paid men who don’t want to be scolded. However, Heath Evans said it went beyond that with Saban and the Dolphins in 2005.
Appearing on 790 The Ticket with Jorge Sedano Wednesday morning, Evans recalled a pretty frightening story involving Saban and a Dolphins lineman from Miami’s training camp back in 2005. Sports by Brooks transcribed it for us:
Jeno James, our best offensive lineman at the time, comes in and collapses after practice, uh, vomiting all kinds of stuff that would make a billygoat puke, eyes rolled in the back of his head. Myself, about four other lineman are trying to carry him from the locker room, to the training room.
Obviously it’s a moment of panic, everyone, you know, we don’t know if this guy’s, you know, gonna die, I mean, the whole deal. But he’s so big and sweaty and heavy that we actually have to set him down in the hallway between the locker room and the training room.
Nick Saban literally just starts walking in, steps over Jeno James convulsing, doesn’t say a word, doesn’t try to help, goes upstairs, I don’t know what he does. But then obviously they get Jeno trauma-offed to the hospital.
Saban calls a team meeting about 10:30 that night, comes down and says, ‘You know, the captain of the ship can never show fear or indecision, we’ve always gotta have an answer, and so I had to go upstairs, that’s why I walked over Geno like that, I had to collect my thoughts and decide what’s best for our team.’
That’s obviously an enormous accusation to be making. We’ve seen former players accuse Saban of things like lying, but this borders on illegal. Obviously, the word of one former player can’t be taken as 100 percent truth, but two other people have confirmed the story. Reporter Greg Bedard, and former Dolphins player Alex Holmes, have both said it’s true. What an alarming scenario to think about.