Nick Saban apologizes for "professional mishandling" when leaving Dolphins

As the 2006 NFL season moved toward a conclusion and the Alabama coaching job remained vacant, rumors mounted that Dolphins coach Nick Saban could be the next Alabama coach.

So what was Saban’s position on the matter?  “I’m not going to be the Alabama coach.”

And then, after the season, he abruptly became the Alabama coach.

In a new interview with Steve Greenberg of Sporting News, Saban addresses the situation. 

“Well, honesty and integrity is an important part of our character, my character,” Saban said.  “Those are words that we use all the time.  I think that in an effort to protect our team at Miami — because I had not talked to Alabama and did not talk to them until the season ended — I express that (character is important) to (Alabama) through my agent and said it was up to them whether they wanted to wait and that I would not make any promises.  I would talk to them then, [and] I would only reassess my circumstances and our situation as a family at the end of the year.

“But I kept getting asked about this over and over and over, and in trying to defuse the interest and leave the focus on our team in Miami (long pause) . . . I had a responsibility and obligation to the players on that team, the coaches on the staff, and I didn’t want that to be the focus of attention.

“So would I manage it differently?  Absolutely.  I would still have the same integrity for our team, but I just would not answer any questions relative to Alabama. . . .  I do apologize for any professional mishandling that might have occurred.”

He used a lot of words to say what he could have said very simply — that he should have said nothing about the Alabama job, period.

Saban also claims that, in his two years with the Dolphins, “we made the organization better.”

(It’s a good thing that he did, or they may have been 0-16 instead of 1-15 the year after he left.)

“We had an opportunity to get a quarterback in Drew Brees or Daunte Culpepper and we probably missed out on the physical well-being of those two players; we took the guy that we felt was more healthy, and he wasn’t healthy,” Saban said.  “No disrespect to him; he did the best he could, Daunte Culpepper.  Drew Brees didn’t have any problems and ended up having a great career.  Had that been different, I think we’d have made our team a lot better. 

“We didn’t have a quarterback the second year, and it affected our ability to be successful.  But we made improvements as a team; we made improvements on defense.  So I don’t really feel like I took one on the chin.  I don’t really feel like we failed.”

Some Dolphins fans will likely disagree.  But they won’t disagree on the “professional mishandling” point.  That said, they’d likely use more colorful terms when describing what Saban did, and what they regard him to be.

81 responses to “Nick Saban apologizes for "professional mishandling" when leaving Dolphins

  1. nick saban is a turd, plain and simple. jason allen?! him and ronnie brown are the only two cats still on the roster from the nick saban drafts….better? dude you set us back alot!

  2. I always thought that Saban handled that the way he needed to. It would have been way worse had he pulled a Petrino. Being “silent” would have been pretty much saying that he was gone on the next train, which to even suggest would have looked worse than saying that he was the Miami coach, not the Bama coach.

  3. He’s a heck of a college coach, and could probably be a heck of an NFL coach, but I still don’t like him. I wouldn’t want him coaching my son.

  4. and yet, this idiot STILL doesnt get it…
    “Had that been different, we wouldve made the team better” (on getting CPEP instead of Brees)…Shit,, now its clear to me, anybody can coach, but it takes a REAL man to admit mistakes, not theese lame excuses.

  5. *YAWN*
    “I DID NOT HAVE SEX WITH…….wait……..WE ARE GOING TO UNLEASH HELL…………no, that’s not it either………I’M NOT GOING TO BE THE ALABAMA COACH!!!!”

  6. Saban’s an A-hole. But I’m glad he left. If he stayed, Miami would suck right now.

  7. For any unprofessionalism that MIGHT have occurred???? Jackass, you unpacked your shit from south Florida and drove off in the Alabama team bus you piece of shit

  8. For any unprofessionalism that MIGHT have occurred???? Jackass, you unpacked your shit from south Florida and drove off in the Alabama team bus you piece of shit

  9. The league required press conferences, and reporters were RELENTLESS. So Saban said, “I’m not going to Alabama.” At the time he was focused on the Dolphins and Bama hadn’t made the offer. AFTER the season, Bama pitched the job and he accepted with Huizenga’s blessing.
    Yeah, he could have handled it better. He should have done a Belichick, thrown out a couple of smart-ass answers, and ended each press conference in two minutes. If the Dolphins had fired Saban without notice, they wouldn’t be apologizing. The Fins did improve slightly under his leadership despite the Culpepper/Brees misstep and he’s not the one who coached them to 1-15. But if their fans think he’s so terrible, they should be glad he’s gone instead of constantly whining about him.
    Speaking of Belichick, he’s not well-liked by the national sports media or fans outside his home base either. Doubt he or Saban worry about it when shining their trophies.

  10. Back in the kiddie league coaching kiddies, which is where he belongs. The pro game is for men, of which Nick Saban is not one.

  11. Wow, Saban has a some nerve that SOB. He crippled our franchise more than he probly realizes. He cost us a franchise QB. Enough said.

  12. Culpepper Over Brees Was The Dumbest Thing The Dolphins Have Ever Done! Back Then I Wanted Brees Or Culpepper!
    Oh Well! Life Moves On!
    Go Dolphins!

  13. Nick Saban is the Devil!!! All he did was get us Ronnie Brown, that’s it! One word, GARBAGE!

  14. F U Nick Saban. Quiting A hole Mo fo. I dont care how many titles you win, the only title you will ever have with Dolphin fans is ” Bit*h “. Deal with it.

  15. Honesty and integrity are great things. But what about character?? Character is what makes a person who he is and what people percieve him as. And Nick Saban, you are a complete deuche bag!!

  16. He should have said nothing regarding taking the Alabama job??
    Douche………….. He shouldn’t have done this interview either. The guy is a tool.
    Him and that other dickhead that left the Bearcats for ND should both pound sand up there arse.

  17. You take 4 yrs to apologize to the fans/organization for your “professional mishandling”? Your a low class douche Saban. Plain and simple.

  18. God, is it that slow for news that we have to bring up this old wound?
    To hell with saban!

  19. Saban is a piece of crap. I agree that punk set us back alot. Loser, I dont believe anything he says he know from the minute the Alabama job was vacant he was making a run back to college b/c he couldn’t hang with the men’s class. A@#hole!

  20. Nick Saban is a weasel. He couldn’t coach with the big boys so instructed his agent to inquire about potential college coaching opportunities and the Miami media found out. What does he do? Deny, deny, deny. Be a man, Nick and tell the truth or do not comment on the story. The ship he built in Miami was sinking and he was the first to jump off. The man has no integrity. No wonder nobody liked him in Miami. He’s delusional, I’m glad he’s gone.

  21. “Well, honesty and integrity is an important part of our character” — NONE of these words can be used when referring to Satan.
    He is a low class toad hillbilly… lier, scammer, malcontent, utter failure, coward… shall I continue?
    Glad that POSER is gone. Stay playing with little boys where you belong.

  22. Nick has a problem identifying NFL pro talent which is why he’s back in college football. I agree with jambithegenie’s comments!!! Moreover Nick believes that character applies to everyone else and not Nick Saban. He seems to articulate much like a professional politician.
    He is full of it and will spin anyway he wants to advance his agenda.

  23. Nick Saban did make the organization better with his personnel decisions. Too bad that organization was the Saints.

  24. I love hearing all the crying from the two different camps in this thread, namely:
    (1) Whining Dolphins fans who are fans of a hapless, bumbling organization which, as long as they keep the door open to their has-been “star” advisors (Marino, Shula, et. al) and keep living in the past, will always be an also-ran, and
    (2) All of the crybaby Tebow fans and their associated (and blessed) Gator fans who got systematically dismantled by a ruthless, superbly coached and superior team in the SEC championship game.
    If anyone deserves blame, the University of Alabama should get it all for not being able to keep a lid on their pursuit of Saban until after the NFL season.
    Get ready for another season of the Crimson Tide squatting on the number one slot all season, crybabies! And, yes, the Dolphins will stink it up again this year!
    Roll Tide!

  25. As a lifelong Dolphin fan, I was really upset about the way things went down with Saban and how after all was said and done, he used the University of Alabama moving van to leave town and the teme from him and his wife was that they did not like South Florida.
    On the other hand, I thought he did a very good job as a coach but was terrebly let down by the scouting department and the medical staff. The same scouting department stayed on after Saban left and did an even worst job the following year in the draft and free agency which led to the arrival of Parcells. The medical staff picked Daute’s inferno over Breese. No coach can overcome bad scouting/player acquisition. If they get Breese and change the scouting department the following year, Saban might still be in Miami today.

  26. Glad to see Nick is still a dick!! Integrity and honesty?? The guy doesn’t even know how to spell those words!! Character? He’s more of a cartoon character…..I’m thinking something along the lines of Pinocchio!!
    The guy lied to the fans, the media and the players. He can paint it any was he wants, he tarnished his legacy forever. Not sure how a parent could send their kid to play for this guy. Great coach but his character or lack thereof, says all you need to know about this guy.
    And how did he make the teams better? Only guys left on the roster from his drafts are Jason Allen and Ronnie Brown. He set the organization back years.
    And Deb….I read your post…..TRUST ME, as Dolphins fans we are ecstatic this clown is gone!! He couldn’t cut it with the big boys.

  27. What ?4 years later he wants to apologize (aka rewrite history). He can say whatever he wants but it is clear he (or his reps) had contact with Alabama prior to the season ending.
    I find that people who tell you what they are made of are really telling you what they wish they were made of.
    No honesty, no integrety. Alambama may win on the field with kids who aren’t old enough to see beyond the rhetoric but they have lost big time as an organisation.
    I’m very,very happy he’s gone!

  28. “Excellent football coach! Good human being? Not so much.”
    Disagree, here’s a better term, Excellent COLLEGE football coach, below average college coach, Bad at picking players (hello Daunte Culpepper, bye Drew Brees). bad at telling the truth.

  29. What was Saban supposed to say up there? “Well to be honest with you, the university of Alabama has not officially talked to me yet. I am sure I will speak with them after the season because this NFL thing is a lot harder then I thought and I am way over my head.”
    I am not sure why the Dolphins even hired Saban to begin with. He is a college coach. Not a pro coach. And then they hire the Great Cam Cameron who takes the ship from barely staying afloat to watching the scene in the titanic where the ship sinks to the bottom.
    The Best move the Dolphins made was bringing the Tuna in. Finally got somebody running the show who knows what they were doing.

  30. A liar and conniver but still a great college coach. He’s much better suited for an environment where he could bully college kids – especially after realizing that along with most other accomplished NCAA coaches, he stood no chance of successfully coaching adults on the biggest stage.

  31. Sometimes sports media just need to back off someone.
    What was he going to say “no comment”?
    You filthy dogs would have eaten him alive.
    I blame the media on this one and yes… Saben is still a turd.

  32. he was the best Dolphin coach in their history, I don’t see why everyone’s pissed off.

  33. Compared to Pete Carroll and Lane Kiffen I don’t think Saban is all that bad. This probably demonstrates that the words character and integriy have no place in football – or any other organized sport.

  34. I though that Patriot fans were the low level mark in intelligence until I read the posts of Dolphin fans. At least Patriot fans carry the stigma as losers along with ALL their local teams – Bruins, Celts, and Sox. It’s always fun to see their bragging rights go down the toilet with their teams.

  35. I can’t stand Nick Saban as much as the next guy, but him leaving for Alabama is not a big reason why. I can’t stand him because he had no clue how to deal with paid players, and blamed it on the sport!
    I can’t stand him because every interview he gave had more shrugs than words.
    I can’t stand Nick Saban because he had no clue how to choose a quarterback. It’s untrue to say the D Brees’ skills were a surprise to anyone who watched him play after Rivers arrived. Even I could see how good he was going to be from my armchair.
    I can’t stand Nick Saban because he made Manuel Wright cry at practice. That’s just not right, man.
    Most of all, I can’t stand Nick Saban because he reminds me of Bill Bilichick in how he always seems like he doesn’t give a damn. The difference being, of course, that BB is playing possum while Saban really doesn’t have a clue.
    But I really, REALLY like Coach Sparano. Short, direct, SHRUGLESS answers that let the fans know that things are just fine behind the curtain.
    If it took this tool packing up and leaving town to get where we are now, I am glad he lied and left.

  36. SF Saints Fan says:
    “Calling Saban a turd is total disrespect to feces everywhere.”

  37. Just as cocky as Saban, aren’t you DoughBoy?
    Go toot your favorite college team horn elsewhere.

  38. Whatever, who cares about the Dolphins when the Patriots and Jets are in the same division?
    Roll Tide!

  39. Haters. Oooh, he left a shitty NFL team for the greatest college football program ever. How dare he leave with the owner’s consent for better pay and more control?
    Nick Saban doesn’t have time for shit.

  40. He who repents of an action is doubly wretched. (Spinoza)
    Saban is a me-first jerk. (Me)

  41. Speaking of Belichick, he’s not well-liked by the national sports media or fans outside his home base either. Doubt he or Saban worry about it when shining their trophies.
    Good point.
    Calling Saban a turd is total disrespect to feces everywhere.

  42. # jetboy says: June 19, 2010 11:17 AM
    he was the best Dolphin coach in their history, I don’t see why everyone’s pissed off.
    and Rich Kotite is the best jest coach since Weeb Eubanks.

  43. Nick Saban’s Skill set works better in College. NFL Players have to be handled differently than College Players. He did what was right for him. At least he did wait till the end of the Season to leave. Look what happen to the Falcon’s a couple of years later. There coach left with 2 or 3 games left on the schedule. He might have been telling the truth when he said he had not talked to Alabama yet. I am sure his agent might have been talking. Also for Miami Fans you should be glad he was gone. It was never going to work. Now your team is better off for Saban leaving

  44. Don’t blame Miami fans for disliking Saban, but all this posturing over integrity is ridiculous. Check your team history, boys. The Dolphins weren’t such sticklers for integrity when Old Man Shula was screwing the Colts and the league was fining you guys for tampering. Not many lily-white angels flying around the NFL sidelines.
    And it’s hysterical reading comments from the Auburn and Florida fans tossed into the mix. Hey, AUBlitz, y’all still have that pine box they used to carry Tubby out of Ole Miss? And Norv Turner, how’s Urban’s retirement going? Yeah, there’s sooooo much integrity in the college coaching ranks. LOL

  45. One thing that Nick did was to coach a major college program and a NFL team, I wonder how many experts on this blog has done just one of those jobs. Bill

  46. The same problem arises every time an NFL coach decides to become a college coach; this was not unique to Saban. The colleges won’t wait until the NFL season is over to make an announcement of a new hire; they want to appease their boosters (who are their de-facto board of directors) and also use the announcement of a new coach to influence high school players for recruiting purposes.
    If a coach denies the rumor he’s a liar. If he admits he’s leaving he’s considered to be an unfocused lame-duck traitor. It’s a no-win situation for the coach and the pro team. Unless the NCAA says no new college coach announcements until after the last bowl game and NFL regular season is finished, this type of thing is going to keep on happening – but I wouldn’t hold my breath waiting for that to happen.

  47. Pretty simple really, Saban was approached about coming to Miami and he declined. After much persuasion, he finally took the bait. Saban knew it wasn’t for him early on, but he still tried to do the right thing regardless of what’s being said here. He approached Wayne Huizenga with his concerns and WH tried to ease his mind, but it wasn’t enough. Even with that being said, Saban was praised by WH for how he handled the situation and he even gave Saban his blessing in moving back to the college game.
    You see folks, it really doesn’t matter what any of us think. Saban finished the season and didn’t leave his boss hanging in the wind like Petrino. Aside from lying to the media to protect the integrity of the organization, Saban handled the situation the best he could and most importantly, he did it in the light of day, face to face, with the very man who hired him.
    Get over it. If I didn’t know any better I’d think I was reading a high school cheerleading forum. Time to move on…

  48. I though that Patriot fans were the low level mark in intelligence until I read the posts …
    Nope, that would be the jest fans. They’re the dumbest most obnoxious losers in all of sports.
    Keep trying there whiner

  49. Jumbo Shrimp
    Black Light
    Civil War
    Least Favorite
    Modern History
    Plastic Silverware
    Random Order
    Insane Logic
    Barely Dressed
    And the newest addition to the Oxymoronic top 10 list….Professional Mishandling

  50. jetboy says:
    June 19, 2010 11:17 AM
    he was the best Dolphin coach in their history, I don’t see why everyone’s pissed off.
    moron. you know jetboy is a term for gay prostitute?

  51. I can’t wait for NCAA Sanctions to catch up to Nick the Pri(k. He put he franchise so far behind. He left Cameron w/ nothing. He can spot HS talent, nut not NFL Talent. Hey Nick there are conferences out there to draft from besides the SEC. Thank You for being available Big Tuna and Thank You for hiring him Wayne.

  52. as lifelong Dolphin fan I have to say the entire Saban thing has been been WAY overblown… it was pretty obvious that he was overwhelmed and thus not a schocker that he bailed.
    Why are we waisting our time on this non-controversy?

  53. Since “The Don” retired, the fins have wandered around in the wilderness and haven’t been worth much since. The best thing Saban did was leave that mess and I do not blame him. Bama is the better for it. Go Jets!

  54. “because I had not talked to Alabama and did not talk to them until the season ended”
    Haha yeah, okay.
    Like Spurrier, he’ll always have to live with the fact that he couldn’t cut it in the pros.

    Typical grammatical skills of an Alabama student-athlete.

  56. @Blitz87 …
    And Weis couldn’t cut it in college. Who cares? They’ve all reached the pinnacle in their area of expertise. Doubt you can say the same.

  57. The only thing I’m still a little bitter over is the fact that he passed over Brees for Daunte…but we have Henne now and a much brighter looking future than we did with Saban.

  58. Saban passed over Brees? Really? Maybe it’s easier to deal with the pain if you just make up stuff and run with it.
    “Brees is coming off January surgery to repair a torn labrum and also a partially torn rotator cuff in his right shoulder”.
    “The Dolphins decided to stop waiting for Chargers quarterback Drew Brees to lower his CONTRACT DEMANDS”.
    “Miami coach Nick Saban revisited the trade talks with the Vikings on Monday, AFTER Dolphins officials determined that the CONTRACT DEMANDS of Brees were more than THEY wanted to invest”.
    “Culpepper had been talking to the Dolphins for the past week, expressing his desire to be with the Dolphins along with showing a willingness to REWORK his contract to FIT into the Dolphins salary cap”.
    Brees had a lot of question marks physically, he wasn’t cleared and he wouldn’t negotiate his high contract demands. I guess Ricky getting suspended right before the season was Sabans fault too?

  59. Why can’t you losers just accept that Saban did not tell the truth in a press conference when asked about the Alabama job. He’s not a great pro coach, he is a great college coach. He wasn’t doing a great job in Miami and you have a better coach now. His move to Alabama was good for the Dolphins and for him.
    None of you losers announces to the world that you’re shopping for a new job when it’s going on, so get over your self-righteousness. It’s pitiful how bitter some Dolphin fans still are over Saban. You sound like a junior high girl who’s bitter at her boo for dumping her. Pathetic.

  60. Reading all the comments from Miami fans, it’s not difficult to see why Saban left. One of your players CRIED. He decided Alabama college kids were far more mature than a bunch of grown-up Dolphins fans.
    Truth be told, he took your team from 4-12 to 9-7 his first year (15-17 overall). Saban could bad mouth the organization all he wants (which is the real reason he left), but he has too much class to do that. Something you will never know about.

  61. Stay right where you are Nick. They might even forget about the Bear after back to back 14-0 National Titles. They shouldn’t even play college football this season. Just give the Tide the Sears Trophy today and alot of injuries will be avoided, not to mention Urban’s death. That is a joke but since the Urban Legend does go up to T-town this year, he might want to take a defibulator with him.

  62. Nick SATAN is a LYING SACK OF MANURE! The fact is, and I got this from an Alabama alum, SATAN wanted to leave LSU before taking the Dolphin job, but he wanted to go to another SEC school. However, LSU would not let him break his contract for another SEC school, so he circumvented the situation by taking the Dolphin job at the time and waiting for the first SEC opening! At the time he took the Dolphin job, the Gator job was available, but LSU wouldn’t let him leave their program for the Gator program.
    Fin fans will NEVER forgive SATAN! If he “left the team better,” what did Sparano and Parcells do! They undid his mess Cam CaMORON made worse!

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