Posted September 12, 2013

Alabama coach Nick Saban addresses the Yahoo! Sports report in press conference

Alabama Crimson Tide, Nick Saban
Nick Saban was peppered with questions about a Yahoo! report during his Wednesday press conference.

Nick Saban addressed the allegations of a Yahoo! report during a Wednesday press conference. (Vasha Hunt/Landov)

On Wednesday, Alabama head coach Nick Saban addressed the media via a press conference after the Crimson Tide’s practice. Saban took questions/gave a statement regarding the Yahoo! Sports report that five SEC players, including Alabama offensive lineman and 2012 NFL first-round draft pick D.J. Fluker, received improper benefits. The report came mostly from text messages and documents belonging to Luther Davis, a former Alabama defensive lineman who allegedly acted as a runner for agents.

In his press conference Saban covered the following:

• Preparing for Texas A&M, including easing up on the team after practicing hard earlier in the week. Saban repeated the refrain he has been all week, that the team is still trying to establish an identity.

• The importance of maintaining poise and not to get distracted by external factors

• On the article: “I didn’t read the article, I just came from practice. I know [Alabama athletic director Bill Battle]  has already made comment on the story. I will say from an administrative standpoint, our people do a fantastic job. I think we have one of the best programs in what we try to do to help our players make good choices and good decisions when it comes to agents. I have full confidence in our leadership we’re going to do whatever we need to do to handle the situation appropriately, and I know that we will. I don’t know anything about current players who would have circumstances related to this. For as high profile players as we’ve had around here, I’m really pleased with how most of them for the most part have managed [...] for the University of Alabama.”

• “We’ve done a lot of investigating about a lot of things. Every time somebody brings something up, we investigate it.”

• “We don’t want our players to do it either. That’s not what our program is built on.”

• “If anybody didn’t do the right things, we’ll take appropriate action to take care of it.”

• “I’m here to coach our players and talk about our team.”

After answering the first question, Saban got visibly frustrated, then said “Don’t ask me any more questions about it.” No reporters asked about A&M specifically, and Saban concluded the press conference by saying, “appreciate your interest in the game.”

Earlier Wednesday, Alabama athletic director Bill Battle released a statement, saying:

“We have been aware of some of the allegations in today’s story and our compliance department was looking into this situation prior to being notified that this story was actually going to be published. Our review is ongoing. We diligently educate our student-athletes on maintaining compliance with NCAA rules, and will continue to do so.”

There was already plenty of attention on Alabama with the team traveling to Texas A&M on Saturday, and the Crimson Tide will be trying to find a way to avenge last year’s loss with this in the background as a noticeable distraction.

28 comments
Jon1222
Jon1222

Saban doesn't care, he know's he's going to take the Longhorns money and run away to Texas before the NCAA catches up to him. 

Alabama_2013_National_Champions
Alabama_2013_National_Champions

Well, if we have to give up a couple of national titles because of this, we;ll just win a few more an start a new streak.

cylon6cylon6
cylon6cylon6

Saban doesn't want to answer when they knew about these agents because they have been trying to cover it up.  They didn't report how the agents and runner broke state laws about athletes and agents.  They don't want them to go to trial and talk.

Cool
Cool

Thayer Evans was in the back of the room talking to other reporters about any rumors they have heard, or any gossip that is juicy.  He is looking to write another in depth investigative piece on how Les Miles has secretly crept into Nick Saban's head and caused him to be a cheater.  He will go on to report that OSU is still secretly paying Miles to corrupt all other coaches... except OU... because OU wouldn't do stuff like that.  lol

chad96
chad96

Roll Tide!  (does it still apply here?) 

NoQNoSuperBowl
NoQNoSuperBowl

Saban has no doubt been told by his lawyer and his boss not to answer questions about Fluker. I understand asking once but when he's begged off leave it alone. After all, the game is a fairly big deal.

mbroncofan
mbroncofan

This could be catastrophic.  It could cost them their last two crystal balls.  D.J. is the most likable kid in the world and nothing is more important to him than his team.  If this is true, it is so out of character for him.

This is different than the USC/Reggie Bush debacle...but don't be surprised if the hammer doesn't fall just as hard.  There is a difference when boosters do it compared to agents.  The "lack of institutional control" charge isn't as prevalent.  But it could still hurt.

This is so easy to stop.  First, make the agents who break the rules subject to civil penalties.  These autograph brokers and agents who are doing this crap would think twice if they knew the universities could go after them for damages.  Then, the NFL needs to step in as well.  Any agent caught pulling this crap is suspended from representing ANY players in the NFL.  I'll bet that stops it cold.

OraPike
OraPike

and the losers holler deal.

btcvsolo
btcvsolo

It wasn't until I read the GQ article last month that I can kind of understand Saban. He's a pretty introverted cat, so I can understand his frustration with reporters that harp on anything but the upcoming game.

btcvsolo
btcvsolo

Enough already...just PAY the kids!

Hola
Hola

If Fluker had signed with the agent providing the money, this would not be an issue.  It was a selfish thing for him to do.  He is hurting his teammates, his university, and his family.

atmorris8117
atmorris8117

Not sure what Alabama could have done about the Fluker situation since the illegal contacts came via an agent outside of the school  Impressed with Bama's graduation rate as well.  My impression s Saban does not have to cut corners given all the winning there lately.  

CobyPreimesberger
CobyPreimesberger

plus actually Fluker could be easy to nail, why, because he tweeted out that he took money but then took it down and used the old excuse of  i was hacked

Fifilo
Fifilo

In other news, Al Capone miffed by tax evasion questions.

Matthew W
Matthew W

An Alabama player was paid? Noooooooooooo. 

Sorry Nicky Boy, its a fair question at a fair time. Everyone knows College Football is dirty, that means your team too Saban.

logue.justinf
logue.justinf

I love the miami dolphins coach always acting above everything.  How much does Alabama spend on recruiting services again?

FearDaTusk
FearDaTusk

Not if you get the ban hammer like SoCal. Lose Schollies and a few years of bowl eligibility. The SEC will go on without Bama. LSU, Arkansas, Florida, UGA, A&M, and South Carolina will all be fine. 

George65613
George65613

@cylon6cylon6 Saban does not want to answer because all of this could eventually end up in court.  Why say something that can be used against you later.

cylon6cylon6
cylon6cylon6

@mbroncofan These agents are subject to criminal penalties in Alabama, but it never got reported to authorities for some reason.  John Phillips said he talked to Alabama about all this in May.  They don't want them on trial and talking.

Ted3
Ted3

@mbroncofan It won't cost them anything unless they find UA had knowledge of the transactions and allowed them to happen. Nowhere in the Yahoo article did they accuse or even hint that Bama had a "lack of institutional control", so the NCAA or BCS won't come down on UA nearly as hard as USC or tOSU unless they can find otherwise. I seriously doubt that will happen and the most likely charge will be the much lesser "failure to monitor". The same is probably true for Mississippi State and Tennessee, but I'd hope they'd give UT a break considering all they have been through since Kiffin destroyed the program.

 DJ came from a very poor family. With that in mind and the fact that he had to balance between being a star football player while trying not to flunk out of school, it's not really hard for me to believe he would be tempted to take money. This isn't localized to the SEC either. It happens everywhere there are large programs with players from financially challenged situations. I doubt many people wouldn't take money if they were in the same circumstance. However, it's easy for people to cast stones when they have never been in those shoes. 

sameo
sameo

@btcvsolo They already get paid.  Free ride, free tutors, free everything all they have to do is play a game.  There are a lot of kids who would take that deal.


HerschelAnderton
HerschelAnderton

@Hola ... it didn't hurt his family at all.  trust me.  and you'd do the same thing, you silver-spoon POS

mystafugee
mystafugee

@Hola Who cares, is Nick Saban and the U. of Alabama the only one's allowed to lookout for their own self interests?  

cylon6cylon6
cylon6cylon6

@Ted3 @mbroncofan Well then if he came from a poor family, they should have known something was up when he was drving around a tricked out gold Cadillac with new rims around campus. 

HerschelAnderton
HerschelAnderton

@sameo @btcvsolo that's reasonable to you?   why don't we tell the advertisers to pay schools/conferences in scholarships and free tutors for their children and children's children and children's children's children instead of actual money.  that makes sense to you somehow.