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.

Even Ex-LSU Players Are Asking Nick Saban for Tickets to Bama-LSU Game

On Saturday in Tuscaloosa, No. 1 LSU will face No. 2 Alabama in one of the most anticipated regular season game in years. It’s the first time an SEC game featured the top two ranked teams in the country. Media credentials are coming in by the hundreds, and ticket prices are surging into the thousands. That means ticket requests are also getting out of hand.

The assistant for Bama coach Nick Saban says she’s received five times as many ticket requests from friends and family than usual. The demand for the game is so high that even some of Saban’s former LSU players are hitting him up for tickets.

“I tell them, ‘I can’t put you in the Alabama section if you’re going to be cheering for LSU,’” Saban’s assistant Linda Leoni said. “They say, ‘No, we’re fans of Coach Saban.’”

These ex-players are so desperate for tickets they’re even willing to ask the enemy for help. I can’t imagine it’s a comfortable experience, but it’s better than doling out thousands for tickets.

Nick Saban’s Car Got Ticketed by Attendant Hoping for Alabama Tickets

Nick Saban may be a god in Alabama, and he may have his own statue, but even he’s not immune to receiving parking tickets.

Saban was in downtown Birmingham Monday to speak to a Monday Morning Quarterback Club in the Harbert Center. Media members left the club after hearing Saban speak, saw a parking meter attendant beginning to ticket the coach’s car.

After saying she was just doing her job, the woman joked that it might help her score tickets to a Bama game. Here is a video of the car being ticketed courtesy of al.com.

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Nick Saban Drops S-Bomb During Tennessee Press Conference (Video)

Alabama coach Nick Saban held a press conference Monday that gave reporters an opportunity to ask questions about the team’s upcoming game with Tennessee. Some of the questions were indirectly related to the Tennessee game, and Saban didn’t like that. Apparently he only wanted to talk Xs and Os about Tennessee, and nothing else.

One reporter asked Saban if trying to win one of its player a Heisman Trophy helps bond the team. He didn’t like that question. Another reporter asked Saban about conference expansion and how that might affect the team’s rivalry with Tennessee. He didn’t like that question either.

Jump ahead to the 2:35 mark in this video to hear Saban drop an s-bomb on reporters:

“You all create so many problems,” he said. “I hate to start on this, but, whether guys are going out for the draft, whether we’re worrying about the Heisman Trophy, now we’re worrying about playing Missouri rather than Tennessee sometime down the road. I could give a s*** about all that. Excuse my French. Come on, let’s talk about the game.”

Saban apologized at the end of his press conferences for getting carried away. Of course, this is nothing new for Saban. Remember this video?

Nick Saban Called a ‘Whore’ by Ex-Agent Josh Luchs (Audio)

You may remember the name Josh Luchs. He’s the former agent who revealed to SI last year that he paid college football players for years. Luchs has a book he’s promoting and he made an appearance on WHB radio in Kansas City Thursday. During the interview, Luchs talked about Nick Saban’s “pimp” comment about agents. Luchs slammed Saban, saying “What he’s done now is he’s showed us who the whore is.”

Here’s the audio clip:

As many people pointed out when Saban made his remarks, it was a tad bit ironic. Here is a coach who makes millions of dollars per year off players who don’t get paid. That may not be what a pimp does, but it’s not as if Nick Saban is innocent in the situation. Heck, his own players have had strong ties to a men’s clothing store. But getting back to it, while “whore” is a strong word, the irony of Saban calling agents “pimps” is even more piercing.

Thanks to Dennis Dodd for the info

Nick Saban: Third-Party People Shopping Kids Is Big Problem

Alabama football coach Nick Saban was part of an impressive panel assembled by ESPN that discussed issues facing college athletes/athletics. One of the subjects they tackled was “outside influences,” which has become a serious problem in college sports.

Over the past year, the name Kenny Rogers became public because he supposedly was representing Cam Newton in negotiations. Similarly, Willie Lyles has gotten schools in trouble for selling them expensive recruiting packages. That’s appeared to be compensation for delivering commitments from high school players. Saban would like to cut these third-party “representatives” (read: street agents) out of the picture.

“If the third party has influence over the player, then you won’t have an opportunity to recruit the player,” Saban said on the forum. “A lot of extra benefits get circumvented toward that third-party person. In most cases where there’s some extra benefit case, it’s the third-party person who is trying to shop the kid. It’s a really bad thing. I would rather not deal with those kinds of folks.”

While that is a nice ideal, it is so much easier said than done. The big problem is that many high school athletes don’t have parents equipped to help them. They end up looking to outsiders for advice. Either that, or the “street agents” get inside the head of parents and promise them a cut of the money they’ll receive from schools. It’s unrealistic, but it would be nice if high schoolers kept their circles tight and made their own decisions — ones for which nobody is compensated.