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Nick Saban, Mark Ingram Shocked James Carpenter was Drafted in First Round

Alabama offensive tackle James Carpenter was picked by the Seattle Seahawks 25th overall in the first-round of the draft Thursday evening. The pick was stunning to most people because Carpenter was projected as a mid-second round pick by several analysts. Hearing Carpenter’s name get called was even shocking for Bama coach Nick Saban, who was sitting at running back Mark Ingram’s table. Check out their priceless reaction to the pick:

Nick Saban said to himself “James Carpenter went in the first round?” while Ingram said “Did they call James? I’m happy for him.” Either Saban was listening to too much Mel Kiper and Mike Mayock talk and was caught off guard, or he didn’t think his former player was a first-round talent. Something tells me it’s a combination of the two factors, and that can’t be a good sign for Seattle.

As for the Seahawks, GM John Schneider explained the pick saying “Quite frankly, our top-rated guy came to us and he stayed there the whole time.”

Carpenter himself admitted the pick shocked him. Was it a good pick or a reach? Only time will tell, but if this is who Seattle had at the top of their board, they made the right move.

Also see: Mark Ingram crying during his draft day interview

Nick Saban Statue Unveiled at Alabama A-Day (Pictures)

When pictures of the Nick Saban bronze statue first hit the web, we laughed that the statue looked like a milk chocolate treat or a parade float. But now that the statue was finally unveiled outside Bryant-Denny Stadium in Tuscaloosa, we have less to make fun of because it actually looks normal. Check it out:

The statue was unveiled in front of a reported 92,310 estimated crowd that attended the annual spring game known as A-Day. The crowd was about as large as Saban’s first year on campus in 2007, and barely beat the attendance last year. I guess the exception for a lack of passion amongst Bama fans was ’08 when only 78,000 people showed up for A-Day.

Back to the statue, it commemorates the 2009 title Saban won in only his second year as head coach of the Tide.The Birmingham News has full coverage of the statue’s unveiling including video and more pictures, so check it out.

Photo Credits @gbdawkins, @officiallyjustc, @kaye2496

Video: Nick Saban Throws Out First Pitch

It’s all about Alabama coach Nick Saban this week. First it was announced that his memorial bronze statue would be unveiled at the annual A-Day Spring Game on April 16th (see sneak peek of the statue here). Then Saban had the honor of throwing out the ceremonial first pitch before the baseball team’s game against Arkansas Friday night. Check out Sabe’s arm:

Nice motion and he showed off a bit of a gun. It certainly had nothing on Nolan Ryan, but at least he topped Barack Obama. Thanks to Izzy Gould for the video.

Nick Saban Statue Pictures Emerge

What they call a bronze tribute to Alabama coach Nick Saban I call a float for the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. Seriously, how many runners does it take to hold this thing down as they maneuver along 34th street?

This statue caused a bit of a stir because Saban is in the prime of his coaching career at Bama and already getting memorialized outside Bryant-Denny Stadium. The rumor is that the statue is set to be unveiled at the annual A-Day spring game on April 17th, but if I were them I’d postpone the unveiling until I’ve built a new one that looks less like a milk chocolate treat and more like Coach Saban. What did they commission a third grader to make this? More pics courtesy of The Juice Is Good:

NICK SABAN STATUE PICTURES

Nick Saban, Mack Brown, Bob Stoops, Les Miles Highest Paid College Coaches

USA Today released its annual list of coaches salaries for all 120 FBS head coaches. As you can imagine, the coaches at the BCS conferences are well paid, and those in the SEC are truly making bank.

The Top 10 highest-paid coaches in the country (based on USA Today’s research) are the following:

    Nick Saban, Alabama – 5.997 million
    Mack Brown, Texas – 5.161 million
    Bob Stoops, Oklahoma – 4.375 million
    Les Miles, LSU – 3.905 million
    Jim Tressel, Ohio State – 3.888 million
    Kirk Ferentz, Iowa – 3.781
    Jim Grobe, Wake Forest – 2.939 million
    Mark Richt, Georgia – 2.937 million
    Bobby Petrino, Arkansas – 2.713 million
    Gary Pinkel, Missouri – 2.550 million

Note: data was not submitted by some private universities, so coaches like Lane Kiffin, Jim Harbaugh, and Brian Kelly are not on the list. Kiffin would be in the top five based on reports, and there’s no doubt Kelly would be in the top 10. Harbaugh probably isn’t in this group. Also, Urban Meyer was in the 4 million club but is not on the list because of his resignation.

If you want to look at the most overpaid coaches, you can start with

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Nick Saban Accused of Lying by Former Alabama Players

Roster maneuvering is one of the difficult tasks a college football coach has to manage. Because of injuries, attrition, or a lack of development by a player, coaches began employing the practice of oversigning — signing more players than are allowed to be on scholarship, accounting for the aforementioned factors. Alabama coach Nick Saban has already been accused of overusing medical hardships as a way to create more roster space while allowing players to keep on scholarship. Now The Wall Street Journal, which seems to be all over Saban’s case, has comments from three players who say Saban lied about why they were let go from the program.

In August last year, Saban said four players were not being invited back to the program for violating some type of team rule. He said “These guys all did something. It doesn’t make them bad people.…These guys didn’t do what they were supposed to do here, whether it was for academic reasons or whatever. They’re not going to be part of the program.”

The Journal caught up with three of the four players involved — Alonzo Lawrence, Jermaine Preyear and Prince Hall — two of whom said they transferred because of playing time concerns, not because they violated team rules. They believe Saban made the comments to protect the program so future recruits wouldn’t be scared away from signing with the school.

In Saban’s defense, two of the players (Hall and Brandon Fanney) had faced disciplinary actions within the program, but Hall says Saban tried to talk him out of transferring. This definitely seems like Saban is trying to spin things in the best interest of the program and making the students look bad which is unacceptable. There is an easy fix to this situation: a crackdown on oversigning.

Nick Saban Yells At, Spanks Freshman Quarterback A.J. McCarron (Video)

I guess part of what makes a great coach a great coach is never missing a teachable moment.  With his Alabama Crimson Tide leading Mississippi State, 30-3, Nick Saban decided to give his redshirt freshman quarterback, A.J. McCarron, a few reps.  McCarron passed for 50 yards and rushed for -10 during his limited action, but it appeared Saban wasn’t all that pleased with his performance. Either that, or he was way too please.  You be the judge.  Check out the video of Nick Saban spanking A.J. McCarron:

That’s a straight up “I told you to be home before the street lights came on!” ass-warming right there.  Thanks to Deadspin and YouTube user SportsAndSuch for the video.