Saban should say: "why would I leave a job where I have it made? I can ask for anything and get it. Would you leave a job like that?
When Nick Saban was the coach of the Miami Dolphins, he did what all coaches do when they’re asked if they’re mulling a job offer from elsewhere — he lied. Saban was trying to keep his team from quitting on him so he kiboshed rumors that he would be heading to the University of Alabama. Peppered with questions about the Tide’s job again and again, Saban made the mistake of finally giving a definitive answer. “I’m not going to be the Alabama coach,” he famously said.
And then he took the Bama job when the Dolphins’ season ended and he’s been branded as untrustworthy ever since. (Our view: Alert us if a coach ever says, “Why, yes, I am looking to get out of here.”)
That “lie” is why Saban is having such a hard time closing the door on rumors that he might leave Tuscaloosa to go back to the National Football League this year. He tried to shut that door in his post-BCS championship presser earlier this week. But on ESPN radio this morning, Mike Greenberg and Mike Golic asked him once more about the NFL buzz. Saban tried to slam the door shut once and for all with this reply:
“I don’t know how many times I have to say it. You guys don’t believe it. Every time I do an interview, I have to say the same thing and you all don’t believe so why do I have to keep saying it. I closed the door. Now it’s two days later and you’re asking me to close the door again. The damn hinges are wore out…
It depends on really what you want. A part of coaching to me is you try to help players develop personally. You want to help them develop them to be all they can be. You want them to be more successful in your life because they were part of your program.
In the NFL, it’s not really that way. It’s all about people having success in their careers as football players. It’s a business. It just depends on what do you enjoy the most. I kind of like seeing these guys grow and develop.”
Sounds good. This writer believes him.
But that won’t stop the NFL rumors from swirling now and in the future.
Just as Kentucky fans have to put up with rumors every spring that John Calipari will jump to the NBA, every January Alabama fans will have to worry about chatter that Saban is eyeballing a return to the pro game.
As long as Saban is at Alabama — and Calipari is at Kentucky, for that matter — rumors will always fly that they’re looking to test themselves on the biggest stage once more. In both cases, we’ll believe it when we see it.