Changing Alabama’s Athletic Dept. Culture & Applewhite update

What was wrong with Alabama football? For too long the answers were legion. First, an inept coach who wasn’t a leader (that could apply to both Shula and Dubose). Second, bureaucrats more interested in their own advancement over the good of the University. And those were just the two most obvious. There was actually hundreds if not thousands of things big and small wrong.

Those things have changed with Nick Saban in town.

Saban’s press conference Thursday was an example in what’s to come and highlighted what had passed. Mitch Dobbs in a in a Bama Magazine article examined Saban’s first press conference and the culture change from the Shula era. “The former coach at Alabama often said that he was unable to control the information that swirled in the media, so he tried to avoid taking in what was being said as much as possible and to get his players to do the same thing…The exact consequences of that coach’s ignorance to the things happening outside the walls of his office, and not being much of a participant in controlling the information, can be debated, but it certainly didn’t help him as he tried to maintain a grasp on his job.”

In essence, Shula lived in an isolated world unwilling to read newspapers. In fact, one story someone shared hinted Shula would have portions of the newspaper removed before he read it to prevent himself reading the negative publicity. Was that true? I don’t know, but Shula certainly didn’t read the sports pages and by his own admission didn’t read Cecil Hurt’s definitive column following the Miss. St. loss.

Cecil Hurt’s latest column examined Saban’s leadership style and how Saban is working under the looming Feb. 7 National Signing Day deadline.

The Houston Chronicle reported this morning that Major Applewhite would be named QB coach at Alabama. The Tuscaloosa News updated the assistant situation this morning as Saban made it official that Alles and Pendry were hired.

Nick Saban will appear in a special two-part ESPN Sportscenter interview. The excerpt from part 1 of the interview was published in the Mobile Press-Register.

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