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Following the departure of Alabama linebackers coach/recruiting guru Lance Thompson to Tennessee, new Volunteers head coach Lane Kiffin took the time to crow about the coup.In his first public comments since losing Thompson, Crimson Tide head coach Nick Saban refused to take Kiffin’s verbal bait and is unfazed over the loss, even as it seemingly weakens his program while strengthening an SEC rival’s.And, in his talk with the media at the Senior Bowl in Mobile, AL, Saban seemed to take a subtle jab at the departed assistant coach.”(Recruits) are really buying into the whole program,” Saban said according to the Birmingham News, “so the guy that sells you the car may not be as important as the car itself, and we want to have a Mercedes at our place and that’s the way it is.”Saban went on to reiterate it’s the program the recruits are buying, and that the core of of his football operations remains intact.  That stability and continuity is another draw for players looking at the school.”Well really, when guys make decisions about schools and commitments about schools, they’re buying the program, they’re committing to the whole program,” Saban said. “And 99 percent of the whole program has stayed the same and we have a quality program.”By the way, Thompson is the reigning Recruiter of the Year, so the loss will be felt by Saban and his program regardless of the public spin he puts on it.  Just how much of an effect it will have, though, remains to be seen.

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