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Brendon Ayanbadejo thinks Nick Saban traded him because he took paternity leave

Brendon-Ayanbadejo-Complaining-About-AFC-ChampionshipFormer NFL linebacker Brendon Ayanbadejo can relate to New York Mets second baseman Daniel Murphy. Like Murphy, Ayanbadejo once faced criticism during his career after he chose to be with his wife for the birth of his child. The difference is Murphy has received the support of his coaching staff.

In his FOX Sports column on Friday, Ayanbadejo wrote about how he took a small amount of time off from preseason action with the Miami Dolphins back in 2005 when his daughter was born. He said that Nick Saban, who was coaching in Miami at the time, made it clear that he did not approve of him missing any practice time to be with family.

Despite Saban’s wishes, Ayanbadejo said he took a total of about 36 hours off to be with his wife — who was recovering from having a C-section — and newborn child. He was traded shortly thereafter.

Five days after the birth of my child, I found out that I was traded to the Chicago Bears. Due to the timing of the circumstances, it was a nightmare. But in retrospect, it was clearly one of the best things that happened to my football career.

As I left Miami, I had more questions than answers. Did Saban ship me off because I put my family before football? Did the team question my desire to be a Dolphin because of my life priorities?

Personally, I don’t see the issue with players taking a little bit of time off to be with their families when a child is born. We wouldn’t question anyone in any other profession if they did that. At the same time, I’m not surprised to hear that Saban supposedly did not approve. We all know how he can be.

Related: Boomer Esiason apologizes for comments about Daniel Murphy’s paternity leave

Oklahoma assistant coach Cale Gundy takes shot at Nick Saban over 10-second rule

Nick SabanNick Saban has been the most influential head coach lobbying for a proposed 10-second rule that would slow down offenses across college football. The rule was recently shot down, and there are probably more coaches that are breathing a sigh of relief than those who are disappointed. The Oklahoma coaches, including running backs coach Cale Gundy, are among the former group.

On Tuesday night, Gundy decided to take a shot at Saban over the 10-second rule being tabled by the NCAA rules committee. The tweet was later deleted but not before it was captured by Saturday Down South.

Cale-Gundy-Nick-Saban

The Sooners put a beating on Alabama in the Sugar Bowl, so Gundy obviously felt he was in a position to brag. It probably occurred to him later that Saban has won three national championships in the last five years, which led to an apology.

Cale-Gundy-apology

Oklahoma is one of many teams that runs an up-tempo, no-huddle offense. That offense and many others have had a tendency to wear out the Crimson Tide, which many believe is the main reason Saban was rallying for a new rule.

H/T Dr. Saturday

Nick Saban compares up-tempo offense to smoking and getting cancer

Nick SabanThe NCAA playing rules oversight panel will vote on Thursday to determine if a “10-second rule” that will slow down offenses will be put into place next season. Nick Saban and Bret Bielma are two of the more prominent coaches that support the new rule, citing player safety as the basis of their argument. On Wednesday, Saban compared “fastball” offenses to smoking cigarettes and getting cancer.

“The fastball guys (up-tempo coaches) say there’s no data out there, and I guess you have to use some logic,” he told ESPN.com’s Chris Low. “What’s the logic? If you smoke one cigarette, do you have the same chances of getting cancer if you smoke 20? I guess there’s no study that specifically says that. But logically, we would say, ‘Yeah, there probably is.’”

A survey conducted by ESPN’s Brett McMurphy revealed that only 25 of the 128 FBS head coaches are in favor of the “10-second rule” proposal. Of those 25, only 11 are from the SEC, ACC, Big Ten, Big 12 and Pac-12. Most coaches believe there is no evidence to support the claim that running an up-tempo offense increases injuries, but neurosurgeon Dr. Julian Bailes disagrees.

“If you play more snaps, you’re going to have more exposure. I think that’s a fact,” Bailes said. “It bears very serious consideration on whether the game should be slowed down or have fewer plays if you believe exposure equals injury risk or player safety.”

Coaches who oppose the rule insist that Saban — who has been singing the same tune for years now — is simply looking to mold the game in a way that benefits his coaching style. The new rule would penalize teams for snapping the ball within the first 10 seconds of the 40-second play clock.

“The issue I’m arguing for is the increased number of exposures, the player safety issue,” Saban said. “I don’t see how logically it can’t be, but we should at least do a study to find out. I guess the question is: How do we manage it in the meantime? Do we let them keep going, or do we slow them down?”

In all likelihood, Saban is not going to get his way. Comparing up-tempo offenses to cancer caused from cigarettes probably does little to boost his argument.

Nick Saban does the Electric Slide (Video)

Maybe you already knew it, maybe you didn’t, but who knew that Nick Saban had dance moves?

Saban was caught on video doing the Electric Slide while hosting recruits at his home this weekend. The video was captured and uploaded to Vine by a guy named Alex Evans, who appears to be the brother of four-star LB recruit Rashaan Evans, who is considering Alabama, Auburn and UCLA.

My favorite part wasn’t Nick grooving with everyone, but the moment he made eye contact with the camera and probably realized the video was headed for the internet:

Nick Saban electric slide

Saban must be a fan of the Electric Slide, because this is not the first time he’s done it. Here he is doing it in a Dec. 2012 video:

Nick Saban gets his nails painted at Children’s Hospital

See, Nick Saban is a real person after all. He has emotions and empathy and even some sweetness in his heart.

Alabama and Oklahoma are in New Orleans preparing for their Sugar Bowl on Jan. 2, and the teams visited hospitals on Monday. Oklahoma was at the Ochsner Health Children’s Medical Center, while Bama visited Children’s Hospital of New Orleans.

During their visit to the Children’s Hospital of New Orleans, Saban had his nails painted by one of the kids.

How sweet is that? Between this and his loving embrace with A.J. McCarron after the win over LSU, Saban has been showing his softer side.

Below are more photos shared by Alabama football’s Twitter account of the Tide’s visit to the hospital.

[Read more...]

Nick Saban agrees to extension with Alabama

The Nick Saban saga has finally reached a conclusion. Alabama announced on its official Twitter account that they agreed to a contract extension with their head football coach.

ESPN’s Kirk Herbstreit first reported news of Saban’s extension with Alabama.

Nick SabanRumors about Saban potentially leaving Alabama to coach Texas have been swirling for months, but the speculation was taken to the next level when a report surfaced earlier this week indicating Mack Brown will be stepping down as Longhorns coach. Alabama is said to have presented Saban with a contract extension proposal last week, and reports claimed school officials were growing uneasy as it sat on his desk.

Shortly after news of Saban’s extension was reported, it was also reported that Mack Brown would not be stepping down at Texas.

AJ McCarron: Nick Saban told me he’s not leaving Alabama

Nick SabanIf Nick Saban is planning on leaving Alabama to coach Texas, he lied to his starting quarterback. Either that, or AJ McCarron is lying to us. Either scenario is a genuine possibility.

McCarron was asked about Saban’s futur on Thursday during an appearance on ESPN’s “College Football Daily.” The senior took a shot at his coach’s age before revealing that Saban told him he is staying put.

“I messed with Coach, [saying] he’s getting too old to start up again somewhere else,” McCarron said. “He told me he’s not leaving. And I know Miss Terry [Saban's wife] well enough; she runs that house. And she’s not allowing Coach to leave either. I think he’ll be at the University of Alabama for a little while.”

As recently as Thursday morning, a report indicated that Saban is in the process of figuring out “what his staff would look like” if he chose to leave Bama to coach the Longhorns. There have also been reports about Alabama officials growing uneasy over Saban’s hesitance to sign a contract extension proposal, which has supposedly been on his desk since Friday. One second he’s leaving, the next he’s staying, and the next he’s undecided.

Of course, Saban is the type of guy that probably wouldn’t tell anyone — not even his starting quarterback that he has won multiple championships with — what his intentions are. And if he was planning to leave Alabama, he certainly wouldn’t want his players to know that before their upcoming BCS bowl game against Oklahoma.