This is too fucking rich.
Nick Saban cannot contain himself. Such is the case when an issue impacts his ability to coach football at the highest level.
It’s been seven months since Leonard Fournette and Christian McCaffrey skipped their bowl games, but their actions have created one of the hottest topics of the offseason.
What if, Saban wonders, ducking out for the pros before a bowl game becomes a college trend? Or worse …
“Same thing will happen in high school if they make the signing day before the season,” Saban told CBS Sports. “It will take a few years, then some kid will say, ‘Hey, I’m going to Notre Dame. I’m not playing my senior year.’
“Then the high school coach will go nuts.”
That Nick Saban. So selfless. Never thinking of himself.
The apple, it seems, doesn’t fall that far from the tree, either.
“It’s a major negative to me because it takes away from the team aspect of the sport,” Georgia coach Kirby Smart said. “… Are we going to get to a point where someone commits to a college and says, ‘I don’t want to play my [high school] senior year for fear of injury?'”
Coaches like Saban and Smart can jump ship any time they’d like, without repercussion (other than a pesky buyout clause, maybe). Indeed, Saban is on his fifth head coaching gig and nobody’s playing the “taking away from the team aspect of the sport” card on his ass. But a player daring to take his career considerations into his own hands? That’s death.
Even Smart detects a whiff of hypocrisy there.
“I definitely sympathize and see both sides of it,” Smart said. “I don’t want to sound like the selfish coach that only thinks of himself. Also, think of the purity of the game. You’re playing for more than the coach. You’re playing for a team, a university.”
Okay, only a faint whiff.
There aren’t many times when a player has control over his career. A stud finishing his third college season with a likely NFL check staring him in the face has just that. And it’s killing coaches like Saban and Smart.
There’s not a damned thing they can do about it, either, other than trying to convince the NFL to penalize kids for making a decision to skip a bowl game. Good luck with that. Of course, they could always advocate for student-athletes to be paid enough where it becomes worth their while to stay in school… eh, who am I kidding with that?