Nick Saban tries to undo damage from his recent comments about players leaving early

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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 “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.

16 responses to “Nick Saban tries to undo damage from his recent comments about players leaving early

  1. “Coaches care about the success of the program, first and foremost.”
    As they should, seeing as their livelihood depends on the success of the program. Players going pro doesn’t help put food on the table for coaches. Those players are making what they feel is their best decision, which by all means, is great – all the power to them! But there’s no reason coaches should be all excited about it.

  2. Great Players = Wins = M$oney$

    Of course he hates losing a great player … it shouldn’t be a secret or unexpected … Saban fields a hell of a team every year and I’m sure he wishes he could have kept (for ten or more years) all of the greats that have passed thru the Alabama program …

    That said, I’m sure he also enjoys the successes that his former players have on Sundays …

  3. Of Course Saban would rather players stay and help him longer.That`s human nature but it doesn`t mean what he said is wrong. Harrison got a 4 year 3.38m contract as a 3rd round pick and he would very likely be the top rated safety this season and even the 32nd pick in the 1st round will be about 4 year 9.8 or 3 times as much. People can twist words to try and fit into their mindset about anything or try to assume they know why somebody else does or says what they do but what he said wasn`t wrong.

  4. There is nothing wrong with each person being motivated by competing goals. Saban is correct that the player could come out ahead in the long run by staying in school and getting drafted higher. What he ignores is the injury risk. He acts like that does not exist at all.

    The silly thing here is declaring for the draft early makes you ineligible to continue a college athletic career. You should be eligible until you actually sign a pro contract. Want to declare for the draft and see how you do? Go ahead, you should be able to return to school if you are not happy with the draft position and the salary. NFLPA make it happen!

  5. It sounds like Harrison needs to learn what it means to let things roll off your back. A few words and he’s in a tissy. Not exactly a show of strength.

  6. The disgusting thing about Saban crying that players leave early is that with the NFL 3 year rule most players can’t leave until 3 years after high school so Saban has the players for at least 3 years yet he’s still whinnying.

  7. This is going to be weird for most of you, since it’s 2019 and there is no longer middle ground on anything, but hear me out on this.

    Isn’t it possible both sides of this are correct? Sagan is correct that many (not all) will benefit from more experience, and get drafted in a higher position, etc. And yes, there is a degree of self serving in the statements he made because he benefits as much as the player does. And it’s also true that if a player gets drafted into the NFL, and gets a large second contract, that he made the right decision.

    Weird that there can never be any degree of compromise on anything in this country anymore.

  8. He didn’t say no players should be allowed to leave early. He was discussing about some players who leave too early to their long term financial detriment and he gave a valid example.

    But why would any coach want their good players to leave early? Their own jobs depend on their W-L record.

  9. So the coach who makes millions, and bailed on HIS NFL team early, is complaining about unpaid college players leaving early so they can get paid?

    Makes sense.

  10. Players are not sympathetic to the needs of these wealthy coaches and universities. It’s heartless how they whine and cry simply over being exploited for millions. They have no empathy.

  11. It’s a complex argument. It’s obvious to a Marxian degree these players are being “exploited” but they also are getting the benefit of a free education that would normally cost them tens of thousands of dollars. The blue chippers may not care about that education from what they stand to make from the next level but for most college players(you know the 98% of players that won’t go to the nfl) that’s a huge score after their playing days to have the degree and not have a rushmore pile of debt.

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