Alabama coach Nick Saban, who obviously benefits from players choosing not to leave school early, recently launched into a monologue regarding players who make bad business decisions by exiting prematurely. Although Saban didn’t name names, it was obvious that he disagrees with the business decision made last year by former Alabama defensive back (and current Jaguars safety) Ronnie Harrison.
Harrison took loud exception to Saban’s remarks. On Thursday night, Saban concluded a press conference held in connection wit the program’s spring practices to clarify his views, without ever apologizing to Harrison or otherwise admitting that Saban was in the wrong.
“I’d just like to make one statement to make sure everybody understands who we are and what we do,” Saban said, via SaturdayDownSouth.com. “Our whole goal in this program is to help people be more successful in life. We support every player in every decision they make, regardless of what it is. We want to help them with all their decisions to have the best opportunity to be successful to create the most value for themselves and their future. Once any player decides what he’s going to do in any part of our program in any way, we’re going to support him in every way that we can. That’s what we’ve always done. I think our players pretty much understand that. We have a lot of players that come back here a lot; they’re very proud of what they were able to accomplish while they were here at the university, and they’re always welcomed back. That’s something that’s very important to us and very important to the program. So, thank you.”
Sorry, Nick, but it’s too late to be magnanimous. The earlier comments made your disdain for Harrison’s decision obvious. Saying “we support every player in every decision they make” now runs counter to those words.
But what else could Saban say after Harrison hit the nail squarely on the head? “Coaches get so Butt Hurt Now Days About a Kid Making a Decision to live out his dreams and Go Pro. Makes me think do you really care about the success of the kid or how well your program performs?”
Coaches care about the success of the program, first and foremost. Sure, they can also care about the success of the player, but when push comes to shove, player success is the rock and program viability is the green paper that covers up anything in the green paper’s path.