A decade ago, Nick Saban was finishing his second season as coach of the Miami Dolphins. Rumors had been swirling for months that he was miserable in the NFL (then again, he’s always miserable), given the inability of a pro coach to stack the deck with talent the way that he does at the college level via recruiting.
More specifically, the decision of then-West Virginia coach Rich Rodriguez to pass on a chance to succeed Mike Shula at Alabama had sparked numerous reports that Saban could end up in Tuscaloosa. He was asked about it repeatedly at press conferences, and eventually he decided to slam the door and flip the deadbolt.
“I guess I have to say it,” Saban said on December 21, 2006. “I’m not going to be the Alabama coach.”
Ten years to the day later, Saban is still the Alabama coach.
Although there’s a chance he was telling the truth at the time and not simply attempting in clumsy fashion to avoid admitting that he may be leaving South Florida for college football, the statement became, and remains, Exhibit A for the proposition that football coaches often lie for strategic reasons. Which makes it hard to take anything they ever say at face value.
So don’t blame us when we parse your words and/or try to find reasons to not believe them, football coaches. Blame it on Nick Saban.