Nick Saban learned from Bill Belichick not to give out information

Getty Images

Patriots coach Bill Belichick plays it close to the vest when talking to reporters, refusing to divulge information about injured players, or expound on strategic decisions. Alabama coach Nick Saban says that’s an important lesson he learned from Belichick.

At today’s media day before Alabama’s Cotton Bowl matchup with Michigan State on Thursday, Saban said that he appreciates the role reporters play in the sport, but he doesn’t give reporters information because Belichick taught him that giving out information can put a team at a strategic disadvantage.

“I really do have a really grand appreciation for the media and what they do because it creates a tremendous amount of interest in college football, a lot of positive reinforcement for players who do a great job,” Saban said. “Even though sometimes I maybe put on a front to try to protect our organization, our team, the people involved on our team — I’m talking about coaches, players, everybody in the organization — I learned from Bill Belichick a long time ago you don’t want to give too much information out about anything, so sometimes I think that comes off as a lack of appreciation. But, really, I have a tremendous amount of appreciation for what everyone here does for college football in promoting the game as well as the players who play it.”

Saban was Belichick’s defensive coordinator for four years in Cleveland, and Saban has applied a lot of the lessons he learned from Belichick to become one of the most successful college coaches ever.

52 responses to “Nick Saban learned from Bill Belichick not to give out information

  1. Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. Bill Belichick is the greatest football coach to ever grace a sideline, at any level. You’re a wise man, Coach Saban.

  2. If you give out useful information, smart people will make use of it. This is hardly news. So the media should learn that any question that answers “how” should just be skipped.
    “Who” questions will only be answered about the other team.

  3. Well, the comments section on this one should be fun. Snaky commentary regarding what Saban learned from Belichick should make for lively writing.

    The jokes write themselves…

  4. The only people worse than Internet commenters are reporters.

    Why would anyone give them information, sound bites (of which, only the negative will be chosen), or insight into strategic decisions??

  5. People may hate both BB and Nick Saban, but the two of them are in the top 3 coaches all-time at their respective levels.

  6. The worst thing a cheater can do is give too much information, b/c then you have to remember what you said and if you repeat anything wrong your caught. Brady should have kept his mouth quiet instead of saying “i dont even know what our balls are set at, i never even heard the word PSI until two years ago”. Ohhhh but Tom, like 9 yrs ago you lobbied to get rid of the low PSI rule b/c you said you like your balls less inflated. See……….thats being caught in a lie, you cant lobby against a rule then 7 yrs later claim you had no idea about the rule lol.

  7. You’d think that after the Pats get eliminated this postseason that they’ll be reincarnated by all the Clam-Champers, their injury riddled season is mercifully ending soon.

  8. thetooloftools says:
    Dec 29, 2015 12:42 PM
    Now we know why we hate both of them.
    _________________

    You would prefer perhaps that they both emulate Bert Bell or Mike Pettine?

  9. Shockingly, giving away tactical information about your game plan and player injuries can help your upcoming opponent. Thank you, Bill Belichick, for teaching us all this valuable lesson…

  10. Though most NFL coaches have difficulty following his example, probably not one of them would disagree with Belichick’s approach.

    Just a few days ago, Gary Kubiak said: “I need to shut up” when being grilled by the media on Manning’s progress from his injury. Then he got back to offering more information.

  11. I’m reminded of the SNL skit from back during Desert Storm, when the reporters kept asking questions about strategy….. It’s not at all surprising that Belichick treats most of them with such disdain.

  12. I’m shocked no coaches have cited Rex Ryan as their inspiration for how to deal with… anything.

  13. FoozieGrooler says:
    Dec 29, 2015 12:57 PM
    The ones who say the least tend to be the ones with the most to hide.

    —————————–
    Correct, and this is why Patriots will continue to win and Wrecks Ryan will continue putting his feet in his mouth.

  14. footballfanatic says:
    Dec 29, 2015 12:56 PM
    The worst thing a cheater can do is give too much information, b/c then you have to remember what you said and if you repeat anything wrong your caught. Brady should have kept his mouth quiet instead of saying “i dont even know what our balls are set at, i never even heard the word PSI until two years ago”. Ohhhh but Tom, like 9 yrs ago you lobbied to get rid of the low PSI rule b/c you said you like your balls less inflated. See……….thats being caught in a lie, you cant lobby against a rule then 7 yrs later claim you had no idea about the rule lol.
    —–
    I swear people just make stuff up and believe it. Peyton Manning lobbied for the rule change and Brady agreed and followed and TOGETHER they got the rule change. ALSO, the rule change was also NOT ABOUT PSI, but about allowing visiting teams to be able to prepare their own balls (at the time visiting teams were supplied balls that day by the home team). Christ do a google search for once in your life.

  15. FoozieGrooler says:
    Dec 29, 2015 12:57 PM

    The ones who say the least tend to be the ones with the most to hide.
    —————————

    Obviously. That’s why Saban and Belichick are so good at their jobs.

    Meanwhile, Rex Ryan runs his mouth all of the time, and has absolutely nothing to show for it.

    Of course, when Belichick gets asked a real question about football, he often says a lot.

  16. All of the Belichick and Saban haters are on teams that can’t compete with them. The irony is that these same haters would cool whip themselves if they learned one of these great coaches was being signed by their team.

  17. “AWWW Nick, now you’ve gone an done it. You’ve given the Pats Haters a college team on which to to vent their petty frustrations.”

    Actually most Bama fans are probably Pats fans too…and Vice Versa, if you catch my drift.

  18. You know what losers do? They look for excuses as to why they lost. We have created a generation of victims in our society. Bill Belichick is the “1%” of coaching and he and Tom Brady need to check their privileges with Roger Goodell and fanboys of other teams. If the Patriots win this year, I’m sure there will be more excuses from the losers. How pathetic.

  19. “Patriots coach Bill Belichick plays it close to the vest when talking to reporters, refusing to divulge information about injured players, or expound on strategic decisions.”

    Wrong. He is notoriously tight lipped and smug when people ask him stupid/cliche questions and questions that relate directly to decision making leading up to a game.

    Listen to or watch any interview with BB that people ask good/thoughtful/intelligent questions about football, strategy etc. and the guy could go on and on forever.

    He has no patience for stupidity, childishness, or people who try to get him to answer questions that serve no benefit to answering.

  20. I know that there are many like me who are developing a growing disdain for today’s professional bloggers. Back in the day they used to be referred to as journalists. Not any more. Anyone with a smart phone and one Gb of data is qualified. And if he has more than a few hundred followers on Twitter, he’s a media personality. A few thousand website clicks and they become color commentators on ESPN or NBC.
    These bloggers have no scruples. They are no respectors of HIPPA restrictions – hell they’d steal and post images right off the MRI machine if they knew how to do it. There is no such thing as off the record. If you said it and even if you didn’t, its on the record. And they have no sense of responsibility, using the tired excuse that my informant shall remain nameless even if they have no credibility and I am required by a complete lack of conscience to disclose this obviously bogus information.

    So then they wonder why some of the stars in the industry who have the most to lose ie winning coaches like Belichick and Saban are loathe to say one word more than required. I look forward to the day when Belichick has another 5-6 of his current assistant coaches out there as head coaches and they are all following the same tactic. That will separate the wheat from the chaff as far as these bloggers go.
    I also look forward to the day when Belichick and Ernie Adams coauthor a book on the intricacies of running a football team. That’s one I’d wait in line for to get autographed.

  21. I don’t blame him one bit after what the media did to his team prior to the Super Bowl and during the off-season. Compare that to The non-hysteria surrounding Manning.

    Mort retracted his incorrect words a year later after getting hounded by live radio stations. ESPN announced their error at midnight.

    The silence with Manning is deafening.

  22. Why would you give out info? Only stupid, self absorbed coaches do stuff like that.

    Hey! Anyone seen Rexie Ryan?

    bawhaha

    All hail great coaches, mainly Belichick the master.

  23. Brady did NOT lobby for the PSI rules to be changed.

    The dude who keeps posting it is a blatant LIAR.

    He has been posting it for months.

    Has been called on it for months.

    He continues to post this lie, among myriad other lies to help tie his narrative together. For example, Brady saying he had never heard of the PSI rule. Another lie. Brady never said that. He brought the PSI rule to the refs for god sake.

    The petition started by Peyton Manning and signed off on by Brady among 20 or so others does not mention PSI a single time. It does not talk about wanting that rule changed at all. Not once. It was a petition for home teams to prepare their own balls. That’s it.

  24. “They are no respectors of HIPPA restrictions”

    Journalists are under no obligation to respect HIPPA restrictions when medical facilities leak people’s medical records. HIPPA would apply to the medical facility, healthcare provider, etc.

  25. dingusgenius says:
    Dec 29, 2015 2:22 PM
    “They are no respectors of HIPPA restrictions”

    Journalists are under no obligation to respect HIPPA restrictions when medical facilities leak people’s medical records. HIPPA would apply to the medical facility, healthcare provider, etc.
    =============================
    Exactly the point. Knowing the HIPPA restrictions are in place and paying a Healthcare provider to violate the restrictions by providing confidential medical information is subornation. That is illegal, unethical and certainly disrespects the intent of the HIPPA restrictions. Parsing words doesn’t make it right.

  26. I’ve employed the Belichick policy with the media to every woman in my life, from my mother to my girlfriend. There’s nothing to be gained from divulging information to them, it will only come back to be used against you.

  27. “you mean belicheat?”

    Shula knows his precious record is always in danger as long as Belichick is coaching the Pats.

  28. Belichick and Saban are hated by mostly everybody outside their teams fanbase. This is because they’re perennial winners. It’s really sad that people can be spiteful towards somebody’s success.

  29. Um, it’s called paranoia

    let’s assume DoubleB and NSaber were crappy coaches
    Would we listen to anything either says?

    Or is truly paranoia? Which comes first?

    A coach that never divulges anything of interest is a trait of highly successful coaches? Meaning – always had it in him

    Or, as coaches gets more successful, he tends to become more paranoid that everyone is out to get him and speaks less? Meaning – acquires the trait as the years go on

    Well, acquire with disdain too. These guys are d-bags because they think they know more than anyone else, so why would they need to explain this stuff to you…?
    Hubris has brought down many an empire.

  30. rootpain says:
    Dec 29, 2015 2:39 PM
    dingusgenius says:
    Dec 29, 2015 2:22 PM
    “They are no respectors of HIPPA restrictions”

    Journalists are under no obligation to respect HIPPA restrictions when medical facilities leak people’s medical records. HIPPA would apply to the medical facility, healthcare provider, etc.
    =============================
    Exactly the point. Knowing the HIPPA restrictions are in place and paying a Healthcare provider to violate the restrictions by providing confidential medical information is subornation. That is illegal, unethical and certainly disrespects the intent of the HIPPA restrictions. Parsing words doesn’t make it right.
    ________________________________________

    It’s not parsing words. It’s how the law is employed. Those entrusted with the medical information are required to keep if confidential.

    Journalists are not bound by HIPPA. HIPPA is a requirement that is put upon people in various aspects of the medical field and employers with access to medical records (such as HR personnel).

    The journalist’s job is to find out information. IF they receive HIPPA sensitive material the unethical aspect is from the person that divulged it. If it is relevant to the store the reporter and first amendment protection to report it as long as they did not break the law to obtain the information (i.e. broke in to steal/view files, bribed someone for information, etc). But if you are accusing people of breaking the law to get such information I assume that you have proof of this, correct?

  31. dingusgenius says:
    Dec 29, 2015 2:22 PM
    “They are no respectors of HIPPA restrictions”

    Journalists are under no obligation to respect HIPPA restrictions when medical facilities leak people’s medical records. HIPPA would apply to the medical facility, healthcare provider, etc.
    **********************************************************

    Since you are busy educating us, fix this glaring error: It’s HIPAA. Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act. And actually, disseminating information from restricted records would indeed be illegal. If you had access to the records, that is a clear HIPAA violation, and if you didn’t, that is a restricted record access by someone with no need to know, and would be covered by the medical facilities meaningful use rules. It’s a form of theft.

  32. Funny you see a lot of Rutgers and Florida players on the Patriots over the years. Not too many Alabama guys.

    Maybe Saban is telling Bill something different than he is telling all the other coaches.

  33. bushwoodcc says:
    Dec 29, 2015 4:42 PM
    rootpain says:
    Dec 29, 2015 2:39 PM
    dingusgenius says:
    Dec 29, 2015 2:22 PM
    “They are no respectors of HIPPA restrictions”

    Journalists are under no obligation to respect HIPPA restrictions when medical facilities leak people’s medical records. HIPPA would apply to the medical facility, healthcare provider, etc.
    =============================
    Exactly the point. Knowing the HIPPA restrictions are in place and paying a Healthcare provider to violate the restrictions by providing confidential medical information is subornation. That is illegal, unethical and certainly disrespects the intent of the HIPPA restrictions. Parsing words doesn’t make it right.
    ________________________________________

    It’s not parsing words. It’s how the law is employed. Those entrusted with the medical information are required to keep if confidential………The journalist’s job is to find out information. IF they receive HIPPA sensitive material the unethical aspect is from the person that divulged it. If it is relevant to the stor[y] the reporter [has] first amendment protection to report it as long as they did not break the law to obtain the information (i.e. broke in to steal/view files, bribed someone for information, etc). But if you are accusing people of breaking the law to get such information I assume that you have proof of this, correct?
    ==============================
    That is exactly parsing words. First amendment protection does not authorize subornation in any form whether by direct payment or indirect access to a mass media outlet ie 15 minutes of fame even if the supplier of the protected information is not the recipient of click revenue.
    And of course there is proof of this having occurred. If you need help with that there are many firms that can provide paralegal Nexus Lexus searches for you.
    However, if you think for one minute that people like Belichick or Saban are going to divulge information believing that it will be held in appropriate confidence or reported in context by today’s cadre of bloggers, keep on waiting.

  34. gotdebttoo says:
    Dec 29, 2015 4:03 PM
    ….
    Hubris has brought down many an empire.

    Okay then, is it hubris that is responsible for the Pats in a position to reach their 10th AFC Championship game, and 7th Super Bowl in the last 15 years?

    Is it hubris that is responsible for Alabama having a shot at their 4th National Championship in the last 7 years?

    If it is hubris that has given the men in charge this success, then God must love hubris!

  35. gotdebttoo says:
    Dec 29, 2015 4:03 PM

    Um, it’s called paranoia

    let’s assume DoubleB and NSaber were crappy coaches
    Would we listen to anything either says?

    Or is truly paranoia? Which comes first?

    A coach that never divulges anything of interest is a trait of highly successful coaches? Meaning – always had it in him

    Or, as coaches gets more successful, he tends to become more paranoid that everyone is out to get him and speaks less? Meaning – acquires the trait as the years go on

    Well, acquire with disdain too. These guys are d-bags because they think they know more than anyone else, so why would they need to explain this stuff to you…?
    Hubris has brought down many an empire.
    ——————–

    It’s truly scary to take a glimpse into the mind of someone suffering from psychosis.

  36. I know I should slow down. It’s HIPAA (don’t know why my spell check says otherwise).
    And it’s LexisNexis for those who may want to actually do a case law search.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.