Category Archives: Nick Saban Rules

Alabama’s getting its Chris Black story straight.

Another day, another rationale.

Now, instead of the dog eating the homework paperwork getting lost, it’s just your basic “we didn’t need the kid anymore, so we wish him well” stuff that’s SOP at ‘Bama.  That at least has the virtue of familiarity going for it.

By the way, I just bet Saban can prove that every incoming transfer to his program has come for “clear non-athletics reasons”.  In other words, they’re still BSing.



Filed under It's All Just Made Up And Flagellant, Nick Saban Rules

Today, in bullshit

One of the talking points in the Maurice Smith transfer situation is that Alabama let another player, Chris Black, transfer to Missouri last season, which is inconsistent with Saban’s stance now regarding Smith.  Evidently the school is prepared to let everyone know that Black’s transfer doesn’t count.  Wanna know why?

Because nobody was paying attention.  No, really.

Schools have seven business days to either approve or deny a player’s request for a release, according to an NCAA Bylaw.

What happens if a school doesn’t respond within seven business days? The school has to give the player a full release.

That’s what happened with Black, sources told

The wide receiver put in for his release leading up to Alabama’s game against LSU in early November.

It was a huge game, No. 4 Alabama against No. 2 LSU. With people inside the Tide building being as busy as they were leading up to that game, Black’s request for a release either got forgotten about or went unnoticed until it was too late, according to sources.

Like with Smith, coach Nick Saban didn’t want Black transferring to another SEC school. But that’s why Black was able to.

We’re supposed to believe that the man who embodies being a control freak with the largest support staff in college football didn’t keep track of a player’s transfer request because he was too preoccupied?  Sorry, but that dog won’t hunt.

I hope somebody calls Saban on this whenever the topic of Smith’s transfer is raised in his next presser.  Maybe the Coke bottle can shed some light on it.  Seriously, if this is the best he’s got, he might as well go ahead and throw the towel in already.


Filed under It's All Just Made Up And Flagellant, Nick Saban Rules

“This is unnecessary, and I think it’s unfair.”

Kevin Scarbinsky wades into the Maurice Smith affair and finds — surprise! — it’s not so clear cut as to how badly Alabama has behaved.

The latest development was a contentious meeting Tuesday between Smith, his parents and Alabama coach Nick Saban. Smith’s mother, Samyra, described it to me as “a knock-down drag-out.”

Samyra Smith said she believes Saban and Alabama are doing their best to force her son to stay and play one more season for the Crimson Tide, even though the idea of forcing a disgruntled player to stick around seems counterproductive. Smith will not report for fall camp Thursday, his mom said, and will not play for Alabama this season.

She said Saban told the family Tuesday he had “penciled in” her son as a starter. She said her son responded to the coach, “Pencils have erasers.”

Alabama declined an opportunity to comment Wednesday, but it’s clear the school disagrees with Samyra Smith’s contention that it’s been stalling to keep her son on the roster.

One example: Alabama already had renewed Smith’s scholarship for the upcoming year, and there’s no stated NCAA process to rescind such a renewal. But Alabama did work with the SEC and the NCAA to rescind the renewal, which was necessary to allow Smith to meet the transfer requirements. That process was finalized within the last week, which helps open the door for Smith to transfer to any school outside the SEC.

I don’t want to say this is about two egos, because I honestly don’t think Saban operates that way.  But it’s clearly devolved into a test of wills, which is something I doubt Nick Saban is used to experiencing with one of his players.

At its most basic level, transfer policy is about coach control.  That’s what we’re seeing here.  With this showdown, Saban is managing his roster the way Saban’s always managed his roster.  Smith has some leverage as a graduate, but only so much.  (And time is working against him, if coming to Georgia is his goal.)

So while I don’t think this is anything personal on Saban’s part, it’s clear that someone on Alabama’s staff has taken the coach’s hunkering down on Smith’s transfer as a green light to behave like a complete ass.  The irony is, presuming the media heat continues to be dialed up, that this may wind up being the lever that sets Smith free to pursue the move of his preference.  And if that happens, I’d hate to be the guy responsible for that.


Filed under Nick Saban Rules

And now, the shaming begins.

The question is, can Nick Saban be shamed?


UPDATE:  It’s turning into a full court press.

The parents of Alabama defensive back Maurice Smith were still in Tuscaloosa Wednesday afternoon where their son is still “in a holding place.”

Smith, who graduates on Saturday, wants to transfer to Georgia but coach Nick Saban is blocking him, Smith’s father said. Smith’s parents met with Saban on Tuesday after arriving from Texas.

“He definitely has denied any transfer to want to go to Georgia and anything that Maurice wants to do there,” said his father, also named Maurice Smith. “We’re still hoping that something can come through on that, but at this point it seems like it’s a block.”

The parents say Alabama is being “unfair because the kid is coming into his senior year and he decided he wanted to leave and he’s not having the option to do so. It’s kind of frustrating.”

Smith was “mistreated” at Alabama after asking for his release, his father said.

Because Alabama is blocking Smith’s request to go to Georgia, he has to appeal, per conference rules.  Which means Greg Sankey is about to get dragged into the shit storm.

Smith should meet the requirements to be eligible to play this season as a graduate transfer if he were given a release to go to Georgia, his father said. Alabama and the SEC have not responded to requests for comment.

We’ll see how long that lasts.


Filed under Nick Saban Rules

“He wants to go to Georgia. Period.”

This isn’t a good look for Nick Saban.  Not that he cares.

Earlier this year, Alabama did not put a block on Chris Black, who graduated from Alabama and transferred to Missouri, another SEC school.

“So what is it, is it really about my son, or is it about Kirby Smart and Nick Saban? I don’t know what it is” Samyra Smith said. “You just had a player leave, Chris Black, and he’s at an SEC school, Mizzou. So don’t tell me it’s about a violation of rules, I can read you the rules, I understand them well. It’s not a violation of rules or else the SEC would’ve stopped it, the commissioner would’ve stopped it. But it’s allowed…

An Alabama spokesman did not immediately have a response when contacted by SEC Country on Tuesday night. Last month Saban was asked about the situation at SEC media days.

“Maurice Smith has been a good player on our team,” Saban said. “He’s a good person, and he would be a significant contributor to our team this year if he decided to stay at Alabama. … We have told him, ‘Because we support the SEC rule, it would not be in your best interest to have to sit out. If you want to go some place else (outside the SEC), we’d be glad to help you do that.’”

Nick Saban, conference man.  At least when it suits him.


UDPATE:  I don’t know which is more predictable — that Mark Bradley would weigh in on the subject, or Mark Bradley’s take on the subject.  Trust me, you don’t have to read it to know what it says.


Filed under Nick Saban Rules

Introducing the “spontaneous” Nick Saban

Andy Staples makes an excellent point about Saban’s notorious dust-up with PAWWWLLL at SEC Media Days.

If you think Saban, later caught on video having two separate animated conversations with Finebaum, lost control, then you haven’t been watching him very long. All of it was calculated, as is almost anything Saban does when a camera is trained on him. Yes, he is a control freak. He’ll admit as much. Yes, he believes he’s correct whenever he’s challenged by a media member or anyone else. He may not admit that, but it’s fairly obvious. But Saban wasn’t talking to Finebaum or to the viewers of the segment. Every reason Saban gave to explain why Robinson and Jones could miss no playing time was a message to players and recruits. The fact that the clip has received so much attention only played into Saban’s hands. When they speak to recruits now, Alabama assistants can point to that segment and ask the following: Do you see how much coach has his players’ backs? As it turns out, Saban, Finebaum and Finebaum’s employer all got exactly what each wanted out of that particular bit of theater.

Saban wanted that question from Finebaum—or someone—so he could raise questions about the legitimacy of the arrests, which came after a Monroe, La., officer smelled marijuana and approached a parked car containing Robinson, Jones and two other men…

The other benefit to that public exchange is that it wound up sucking all the oxygen out of the tent when another ‘Bama offensive lineman wound up on the wrong side of the law just a few days later.  The difference in the second case is that Alphonse Taylor was promptly kicked to the curb by Mr. Spontaneity.

Alabama offensive lineman Alphonse Taylor has been “indefinitely suspended,” coach Nick Saban announced in a statement Monday afternoon.

The redshirt senior was arrested Sunday and charged with driving under the influence.

In addition, Taylor left the scene of an accident, according to Tuscaloosa Police Department spokeswoman Lt. Teena Richardson.

“We are very disappointed any time a player makes a choice that leads to this kind of behavior,” Saban said. “We are still in the process of gathering all of the details on the situation, but from a football standpoint, Alphonse Taylor has been indefinitely suspended from the team.”

Ah, a little righteous indignation is good for the soul.  Hey — you don’t suppose Saban’s decision wasn’t about that, but, say, something a little more calculating, do you?

The preseason second-team All-SEC selection was already in Saban’s doghouse because of weight- and conditioning-related issues.

After starting all 15 games at right guard last season, Taylor was relegated to working with the second-team offense throughout the spring.

Saban said following the Tide’s spring game of Taylor, “He’s going to continue to be on the second team if he doesn’t get his weight down and get in shape.”

It’s unclear how much progress the 6-foot-5 Taylor has made with his weight and conditioning.

Not enough, evidently.

It’s just bad luck Taylor got arrested in Tuscaloosa, where the cops’ loyalty can’t be questioned.


Filed under Crime and Punishment, Nick Saban Rules

Hey, who took all the five-stars?

Yeah, this is pretty disgusting, although at least one of the architects of it is in Athens now.


Filed under Nick Saban Rules, Recruiting