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Agent Ralph Cindrich accuses Nick Saban of pay for play, covering things up

The average person will tell you that they think the NCAA is a dirty organization in many ways. Most people are not naive enough to think that Cam Newton is the only player in college football who has been paid or offered a massive amount of money to attend a certain school. Like almost every other high-profile coach, Nick Saban has been accused of committing recruiting violations in the past but has managed to keep his resume clean. Sports agent Ralph Cindrich seems to believe Saban is as dirty as they come.

Cindrich discussed the sanctions handed down to Penn State by the NCAA during a recent interview with Larry Richert and John Shumway of KDKA in Pittsburgh. He called NCAA president Mark Emmert a “bozo” but seemed adamant about attacking Saban. When asked who is monitoring the NCAA as an organization, Cindrich basically said Saban has them in his back pocket.

“No one’s watching them,” he said according to Don Kausler Jr. of Al.com. “You want to know who’s watching them? Nick Saban. You want to trust Nick Saban? I have enough on Saban right now – and I realize this stuff gets out, and I also realize the truth is a defense. I know what goes on in college football, so cut me a break. … Everybody has something on Nick Saban, for God’s sake. And if he has a problem with anything I say, come on after me, big guy.”

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Nick Saban says Penn State should add tax to athletic event tickets to support child abuse funds

In the wake of the recent Free investigation that revealed that Joe Paterno covered up for Jerry Sandusky, many people are calling for Penn State’s football program to receive the death penalty. Instances of child sex abuse went on for years at Penn State and a number of university employees — including Paterno — swept them under the rug to protect the football program’s image. Rather than punish the program itself, Nick Saban has proposed an alternative.

“Maybe they ought to tax all the tickets that they sell on athletics and give the proceeds to some child abuse organization,” Saban said. “Or something like that, rather than worrying about some punishment that is really going to have no positive affect on anything.”

Saban also described the situation as “criminal” and said it reflects poorly on a lot of people. His point is that rather than reprimanding the program just for the sake of punishment, they should try to make something good come from a bad situation. Obviously you could argue that a tax would be unfair to fans who have to pay more money, but it’s their choice to continue supporting the football program.

Regardless of what punishment is handed down to the university, there are going to be people affected who did nothing wrong. Players who knew absolutely nothing about the Penn State scandal have already had to deal with the consequences of the horrible actions of a handful of people. By tearing down statues and renaming organizations, people are simply proving that they no longer support Paterno. Saban’s point is that they need to find a way to give back, and in my opinion it’s a pretty good one.

Nick Saban voted most intimidating coach by high school recruits

Nick Saban is one of the most focused and intense coaches in college football. He takes every opponent seriously and he is hard on his players. Apparently this information has not been lost on top high school recruits who voted him the most intimidating coach they’ve talked to.

Rivals.com says they polled about 80 blue-chip high school football recruits about a variety of college football and recruiting issues during the Rivals100 Five-Star Challenge in Atlanta. They were asked who the most intimidating coach they’ve spoken to is, and Saban won in a landslide.

Saban received 30 votes while Lane Kiffin was second with five votes and Will Muschamp had four. Here’s what some of the players said about him:

“He doesn’t do any type of grinning, smiling or laughing – none of that,” one player said. “He is what people say he is – strictly business.”

“He’s been in the elite for a long time and he’s heard it all,” that prospect said. “He just wants to get down to the chase and get to the offer and tell you what he likes and doesn’t like about you. That’s it.”

“With the background he has, just talking to him was like, ‘Wow, I’m really talking to Nick Saban,’ ” one player said. “It was incredible.”

Two of those quotes cite Saban’s business-like demeanor as an explanation for his intimidation. Another points out that Saban is just intimidating because of how successful he is. But has his intimidating behavior stopped recruits from going to Alabama? Not at all. If it had, then Bama wouldn’t be 48-6 over the past four years. But there’s no doubt that stories like this have hurt the Bama coach’s reputation.

H/T Morning News

Nick Saban says the broken BCS Championship trophy is no big deal (Video)

As we mentioned earlier in the week when we told you about Alabama’s championship trophy being accidentally shattered, it’s likely that no one feels worse about the incident than the player’s father who caused it. As you can see in the clip above from WHNT in Alabama, Nick Saban certainly doesn’t seem worried about it.

“I fell off my boat and (almost) killed myself once cleaning up after taking the kids wakeboarding,” Saban said, trying to downplay the fumble. “That could have been real disastrous. Breaking a crystal ball — even though it’s very meaningful — nobody got hurt, nobody meant to do any harm and I’m sure we can replace it.”

Mistakes happen. Alabama will make up for the $30,000 the trophy costs in the first 10 minutes of their single-game ticket sales. Life goes on.

Nick Saban Chest Bumps His Players After Gatorade Bath (Animated)

Alabama coach Nick Saban was hopping mad two years ago after his players bumped him in the head with the Gatorade bucket while trying to do the celebratory beverage bath. This time around, his players were able to dump him with Gatorade without nailing him in the dome. And Saban actually enjoyed it:

Yes, Nick Saban actually expressed joy for a change. He was smiling and had a messed up head of hair. Save this picture, because these are two things you don’t see very often:

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Heath Evans Says Nick Saban Walked Over a Convulsing Jeno James in 2005

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.

Tom Izzo Was Disappointed with Nick Saban for Snubbing Michigan State

You can add another person to the list of those who have a beef with Nick Saban’s final regular season coaches’ ballot.  While many have griped about the Alabama coach voting Oklahoma State No. 4 on his ballot, that can’t really surprise anyone.  Although you are supposed to be completely objective in voting, we know one of the perks of the job is being able to help your team’s position.  As it turns out, Michigan State basketball coach Tom Izzo is also a bit disappointed in the way Saban voted, since he voted Michigan State 17th and their rival Michigan eighth.

“I don’t think it’s anything bad intended against Michigan State,” Izzo said according to The Grand Rapids Press. “I know he and Mark (Hollis, athletic director) have a decent relationship, and I don’t think Nick has any ill feelings to Michigan State, but it surprises me a little bit.”

Saban used to coach at MSU, so perhaps Izzo believes he should have helped them out.  However, the Spartans have three losses on the year and finished 17th in the final BCS standings, so obviously Saban’s opinion is not far off.  They finished 13th in the coaches’ poll behind Michigan who finished 12th, but as the Rapids Press pointed out MSU was well ahead of Michigan in the BCS standings so Saban’s vote did not affect their bowl status.

There are always going to be questions raised after the final votes are in, but the way people are reacting over Saban’s final ballot is is a bit dramatic.  His team deserves the spot they were given anyway, and he voted their biggest threat 4th just to give them an extra kick down the polls.  There aren’t many coaches in the country who wouldn’t do the same if put in a similar position.