Nick Saban is not exactly a warm and fuzzy character. He never has and he may never be. With Yahoo Sports dropping a report claiming former Alabama players received extra benefits in violation of NCAA rules, Saban addressed the media following practice as he usually does and he certainly was not happy.
Former Alabama offensive lineman D.J. Fluker and defensive end Luther Davis were mentioned in the Yahoo report and if the NCAA can confirm the details to be in violation of NCAA rules, the players could be ruled ineligible and put Alabama’s past two national championships in jeopardy. Saban attempted to deter questions about the report, getting testy with the media any time they brought the subject up instead of a more football-oriented question about one of the top games of the college football season, against Texas A&M.
Saban made a statement confirming the school had been made aware of the report prior to being published by Yahoo Sports, echoing the statement released earlier by Alabama athletics director Bill Battle. Saban then stood firm on not responding to any questions pertaining to the report but said the school was looking in to the details on their own. This did not stop a few reporters from bringing up the topic, even if doing so in a manner to work around the topic without hitting it head-on with Saban.
“I made a statement,” Saban said sternly. “Don’t ask me any more questions about this.”
He was asked again, but the press conference ended shortly after that. In a drop the mic moment, Saban wrapped up his press conference by staring at the media and saying, “Appreciate your interest in the game” before exiting stage left.
D’haquille Williams may have some additional explaining to do to NFL personnel if another report is accurate.
Monday night, Auburn announced that the star wide receiver had been dismissed from Gus Malzahn‘s football program. A day later, reports surfaced that Williams’ dismissal came after he went on a weekend “bar rampage” following one of his friends getting the heave-ho from a local drinking establishment over a dress-code issue. It was alleged that Williams had punched a pair of security guards, a bartender’s assistant and an unnamed patron of the bar.
The unnamed, however, now has a name.
According to the ABC affiliate in Montgomery, Ala., and a citing a source close to the AU program, Tigers center Xavier Dampeer‘s jaw was on the receiving end of one of Williams’ alleged punches. The website wrote that “Dampeer has been treated and released from East Alabama Medical Center, according to a worker at the hospital.”
Malzahn was asked Tuesday if any other Tiger players were involved in the incident. “I’m not going to get into any details,” the coach said according to al.com.
No charges have been filed in connection to the incident.
“We cannot file charges until the injured person(s) comes forward,” Auburn police chief Paul Register told the television station. “Unless an officer personally sees a fight, no arrests can be made.”
If Illinois is going to improve upon its solid 4-1 start to the 2015 season, it’ll have to do so without a significant cog in its offensive machinery.
On the official injury report release Thursday night, the Illini confirmed that Josh Ferguson has been ruled out of Saturday’s game against No. 22 Iowa. The decision is not exactly a surprise as Ferguson has been doubtful in the run-up to the road game against the Hawkeyes.
Ferguson sustained an injury to his right shoulder in the first quarter of last Saturday’s last-second win over Nebraska, and has been unable to practice at all this week.
Ferguson’s 381 rushing yards, three rushing touchdowns and 5.4 yards per carry are all tops on the team. He’s added 12 receptions for 28 yards and another touchdown coming out of the backfield.
With Ferguson sidelined, the bulk of the running-game load is expected to shift to Ke’Shawn Vaughn. Through five games, Vaughn is second on the Illini with 325 yards and a pair of touchdowns.