Did the hiring of Nick Saban end Alabamaâ€™s long journey through the wilderness?
Maybe. Maybe not. If you listened to Cecil Hurtâ€™s interview on the Paul Finebaum Radio Network Monday afternoon, you heard a somewhat sobering analysis.
â€œSaban wants their attitude to change,â€ Hurt said. â€œThat is going to be easier to do with the players. His real problem is going to be changing the larger culture at Alabama.â€
Hurt hinted at where problems may remain at Alabama. He said for Alabama to return to the championship level, thing must be done right not only on the field, but Administratively and from Support. Interestingly enough, he also said one of the reasons Shula was so popular with some within the athletic department was the former Alabama coach wasnâ€™t â€œparticularly demandingâ€ in those areas.
Hurtâ€™s analysis of the present Alabama situation went further back. He compared Bryantâ€™s 1958 arrival to the present situation. Bryant was able to succeed by getting rid of a lot of people where were â€œcalcifiedâ€ in their positions. Hurt said Bryant was able to win a national championship in 1961 because of the entire change of culture.
It will be the same for Saban. He must change the culture before he can win a title.
But this raises lots of interesting questions.
Why did Hurt address this issue now? Are there already bubbling problems within Alabamaâ€™s incompetent athletic department administration?
We already know the department is plagued by poor decision makers. Just look at the dolts who sued Daniel Moore.
Hurt is right. Until more heads roll in Alabamaâ€™s athletic department, Saban will have his work made more difficult. And until then, all will wonder if Saban’s work to make Alabama a champion again is being hindered by bureaucrats in the athletic department.