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Sabans labels latest devil jab ‘terribly disappointing’

Nick Saban AP

Brace yourself: what you’re about to see is some (gasp!) feelings and a hint of emotion coming from future college football Hall of Famer and current cyborg Nick Saban.

Earlier in the week, Florida assistant Tim Davis was quoted at a booster function as referring to the Alabama head coach as “the devil himself.”  That was the second time this offseason that the Prince of Darkness has been brought up in reference to Saban, with Vanderbilt head coach James Franklin referring to the four-time BCS-title-winning coach as “Nicky Satan” in January.

This time, though, it was a little personal for Saban as Davis was a member of his Miami Dolphins staff for two years and spent another year on his Tide staff.  That familiarity led to some unexpected — and refreshing — honesty on the part of the coach prior to a Crimson Caravan event Thursday.

It really is a little terribly disappointing,” Saban said according to “I try to do right by the people that work for me,” he said. “It’s a tough, demanding job. And at the same time, if anybody had an issue or problem with me, I would want them to just tell me. …

“It’s just disappointing. If somebody has a problem with me, I’d appreciate it if they’d tell me. If I’m doing something to offend somebody, I’d certainly like to do whatever I have to do to fix it. It’s not our intention. It’s not what we try to do.

“We’re in a tough business. It’s very competitive. Sometimes you’ve got to demand that people do things that maybe they don’t want to do, but it’s not personal.”

Also included in Davis’ standup routine — which Saban apparently took to heart way more than we had assumed he would — the Gator offensive line coach took a jab at Saban’s personality, or lack thereof, in propping up his current boss Will Muschamp.

“[Muschamp’s] like [Saban], only he’s got a personality,” the Gator assistant said. “He’ll smile at you. He’ll talk to you. You understand?”

Muschamp also worked under Saban for five years, four at LSU and one with the Dolphins, and the two have a level of respect for the other that goes beyond the football field.  It’s that respect that left Saban seemingly biting his tongue when it came to Davis’ personality shot.

“I know it’s not representative of Will Muschamp and the University of Florida and the way they do things,” he said. “I know that, because I’m close enough to Will to know that.”

What will be interesting to see is Muschamp’s response to one of his assistants taking digs at someone who is both a friend and conference competitor, albeit in a different division.  Even more interesting?  When the damn season gets here so this kind of stuff moves to the background.

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25 Responses to “Sabans labels latest devil jab ‘terribly disappointing’”
  1. amosalanzostagg says: May 16, 2013 7:34 PM

    Saban wins and all people can do is criticize

  2. be4bama says: May 16, 2013 7:54 PM

    Davis must be a special kind of stupid. He worked for Saban two different times.

  3. bamafan36 says: May 16, 2013 8:11 PM

    Davis IS a special kind of dumb…..if UF has a great year, you don’t want to face Lord Saban, after you have given him reason to humiliate you!

  4. dcroz says: May 16, 2013 8:36 PM

    Mark May was not amused:

  5. alligatorsnapper says: May 16, 2013 8:40 PM

    I am not a big fan of Saban as a person for numerous reasons, but there is no doubt about his ability to coach at a collegiate level.

    This latest verbal jabs at the SEC in general and at Saban and the University of Alabama in particular show that some men act more like children than men. I would not expect this behavior from my own children and if it occurred they would hear from me and be on the receiving end of something they did not want.

    I would think Coach Saban’s memory is like the elephant which is the mascot for the University of Alabama. I think he will remember when they do play Florida, which they will, and when they do play Vanderbilt, which they will, and if ever Oklahoma or Kansas gets a team worth a _____ and qualifies to play the Crimson Tide. I would not want to be Stoops who stooped so low along with other coaches when they are forced to compete against Saban in the future. They may get really “burned!”

  6. vols84 says: May 16, 2013 9:05 PM

    When your at the top, everyone is emulating you and your system ( i.e. the Dooley experiment, Mushcamp, etc). Saban should take it as a compliment.

  7. kicksave1980 says: May 16, 2013 9:51 PM

    I’m not really a Saban fan, but this is what comes with winning. At first, people are happy for you. Start winning too often and the barbs will come flying. If I was a coach in any sport, my personal rule would be to never even talk about another team, coach, or player. Concentrate on your own business and you’ll probably win more and not look as petty.

  8. jason1214 says: May 16, 2013 10:08 PM

    Tim Davis left Bama for the Minnesota Golden Gophers…so clearly winning wasn’t important. Tim, your 15 minutes are up. RTR

  9. youcantmakemepickausername says: May 16, 2013 10:11 PM

    I have no loyalty to Saban or any of the programs he’s coached, but he really shouldn’t let himself get brought down into these little pissin matches (and I know most of the time it’s reporters asking him questions, he’s not the one bringing it up). He’s the #1 college coach in the country right now, and the distance between him and everyone else is like the distance between Halle Berry and Whoopi Goldberg.

    That being said, Nick, what exactly does “a little terribly disappointing” mean? Either it’s a little disappointing, or it’s terrible disappointing, but how can it be both?

  10. jalder21 says: May 16, 2013 10:26 PM

    Please Stop reporting Stupid Non-stories!!!!!!

  11. clemsonstillsucks says: May 16, 2013 11:15 PM

    Mark May calls it correctly – and I’m not a huge Mark May fan – in that the phones right beside you Tim Davis. Pick it up and use it like a man.

    If this is the only way to fire up your booster base then Florida’s got a tougher season ahead of it than previously thought.

    Perhaps in their next move they’ll trot the special needs kids on the field for a full contact scrimmage at half time in their home opener?

  12. normtide says: May 16, 2013 11:22 PM

    Look, the coach was playing up to boosters. When your sitting around having a few drinks with your buddies, you say things you don’t mean and wouldn’t say in public (OK, maybe you mean it, but whatever). He just needs to learn when there are recording devices around. You only worry when they ain’t talking about you. Give the guy a pass and move on. If anything, he couldn’t handle the demands Saban put on him, doesn’t make either a bad guy. I have supervised with people to know everyone is great at something, but not all at what you want them to do.

  13. Deb says: May 16, 2013 11:43 PM

    I’ve thought most of this was funny, but in retrospect, it would be frustrating to hire guys, give them an opportunity, treat them fairly, and then have them rip you publicly after they leave. Coaching football at that level is intense, and from what I’ve heard from those who’ve worked with Saban, he’s a hard taskmaster. His staff is expected to put in very long hours–just as he does. Some who’ve left and gone to other programs have much easier schedules now–but their programs aren’t nearly as successful as Alabama. It takes a lot of sacrifice to reach the top, and most people don’t like to sacrifice. From that perspective, Davis starts to look more and more like a whiny pissant.

  14. dgbk says: May 17, 2013 12:50 AM

    I’m sure u all have glowing things to say about all of your former friends or co-workers/ bosses. Davis was joking he didnt sound like he didnt appreciate his time working for Saban. One joke is not like he gave a 30 min speech on things he hate about Saban or bama. He is an o-line coach trying to put on a show for boosters that is all. Winning sometime does this not everyone is going to kneel down and kiss the ring. Though UF is a big to,e programs everyone is chasing bama. Being called out by rival coaches is a good problem for saban mean he doing something right.

  15. jimbo75025 says: May 17, 2013 1:44 AM

    “Terribly disappointing?” Would have been much funnier if Saban had made a choking motion with one hand and said, “I find Davis’ lack of faith disturbing.”

  16. woebegong says: May 17, 2013 7:12 AM

    Not nice to tick off the coach of a team that has won 2 out of the last 3 NC’s. No matter how much a coach may try to dismiss these comments, they don’t and there is not a lot to be gained in criticizing another coach. Especially when that coach has had so much success and could be your future opponent. In Franklin’s case, it is just his attempt at humor, because Saban is not exactly worried about seeing his team in the SEC championship no matter what
    he says. In the case of Florida coaches, it just doesn’t come off as real smart on their part. I guess it is good bulletin board fodder, but I am sure it doesn’t put one point up on the board for your team. The SEC already handles a lot of criticism as it is from the rest of the conferences out there, with coaches in the same conference posting crap.

  17. tlmoon2112 says: May 17, 2013 12:12 PM

    Roll Turd

  18. hvchronic says: May 17, 2013 12:26 PM

    Nick shouldn’t worry about it. He may not be the Devil Incarnate, but a little deviltry in the personality can go a long way. Here’s a song about that:

  19. sportfan2 says: May 17, 2013 7:53 PM

    This is not an interesting or important story. Who really cares if some do not like this guy or that guy.

  20. barkleyblows says: May 18, 2013 12:13 AM

    This guy is such a tool. He’s as bad as Bill Bellicheat!

    Cheaters always prosper!

  21. onbucky96 says: May 18, 2013 9:42 AM

    The Nicktator is fine, but the devil?

  22. bender4700 says: May 18, 2013 10:57 AM

    Who cares what Mark May thinks?

    The guy is as pompous as any guy out there only without a reason to be.

    Nick Satan, er Saban, is a tool. Just because you win doesn’t mean you are a great guy.

    Look at Jimmy Johnson, wins wins wins, great guy. Too bad Jerry Jones was threatened by him.

    Look at Bill Walsh, Don Shula, Vince Lombardi, Tom Osborne, and countless other solid character head coaches that won.

    Saban wins, but his character, personality, and integrity are not winners.

    Notice everyones complaining that they are going after him because he wins. Nobody is defending this guy.

  23. blueglaze says: May 18, 2013 1:39 PM

    It was a booster club people. Funny how easily the media can stir the pot.

  24. dcroz says: May 18, 2013 1:55 PM


    Defend Saban? From what? That he’s Satan and not a Saint? Please, no one is arguing that he’s a candidate for beatification. But if he’s such a horrible boss, then why are assistant coaches falling all over themselves for the chance to work under and learn from him? Even Mario Cristobal, who took a position with his alma mater (Miami) after getting fired as HC from FIU, left his new job after only a month when Saban offered him a spot on his staff. Yes, Saban is notorious as a taskmaster, and yes, he can be an ass to those around him at times, but coaches and players alike know that he’s the best at what he does and are willing to put up with his eccentricities to get the experience and championship rings they want.

    Oh, and as far as the “integrity” comment goes: I assume you’re talking about him leaving the Dolphins to go coach at ‘Bama? If so, I find it hilarious that you would then include Don Shula on your list of examples of coaches having “solid character”…considering that Shula did THE EXACT SAME THING when he left the Colts in the middle of the night to go to Miami, which was so scandalous that the NFL took away the Dolphins’ first-round draft pick the next season and gave it to Baltimore in compensation. Integrity, indeed.

  25. packerbadger says: May 20, 2013 9:47 AM

    Awwww…did the poor widdle narcissisitc sociopathic cheater get his feewings hurt?

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