Saban & the Media (and more on the Media)

It didn’t take long for an Alabama sports reporter to attack Nick Saban. In the Montgomery Advertiser, Josh Moon performs a hatchet job on Saban over the Alabama coach’s media policy.


Apparently, Saban doesn’t speak to the media enough or make the players available enough in Moon’s opinion.

And Moon couldn’t stop with just a criticism of Saban’s media policy. No, Moon decided to throw a full hissy fit.

“He was overrated at Michigan State, overrated at LSU and rated about right in Miami. He’s an average coach who, through mostly media attention, has garnered this reputation of being a great coach,” Moon wrote.

Was Saban overrated at LSU? That argument is hard to substantiate.

According to the LSU media guide, the Tigers won a national title and two SEC championships during Saban’s tenure. Saban never finished below 2nd place in the SEC West. I’d say that was a very solid record considering LSU’s last conference crown prior to Nick Saban came in 1988 (a co-championship with the Tigers going to the Hall of Fame Bowl.) The last out-right SEC crown before Saban came in 1986, that was 14-years before Saban arrived in Baton Rouge.

And when was the last LSU crown before Saban arrived?


Saban’s winning percentage at LSU was .750; however, Moon considers that overrated.

Was Saban overrated at Michigan State? Possibly. But even on his bad years like 1998, when Saban’s MSU team went 6-6, the Spartans knocked off a #1 ranked OSU team.

Moon’s credibility goes out the window with lines like this: “When he needed the press for his personal advancement, we were great guys to have around.”

I’m sorry, but I’d like to see some evidence that Saban was on great terms with the press while at MSU and LSU. Everyone I’ve ever heard talk about Saban has said he is a bit anti-social when it comes to dealing with the press. So, this is where Moon should provide some evidence, but since his argument is fallacious, he has no evidence to share.

The sad thing is I agree with Moon that Saban should allow more accesibility to players and coaches. However, that is an argument which should be made with reason and not concocted attacks on Nick Saban’s record.

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ESPN’s Ombudsman wrote a scathing review of Colin Cowherd’s unethical attack on the The Big Lead Blog. Like we’ve said since this situation began, Cowherd should be fired. At the very least the action was unethical, and it could be a violation of civil and/or criminal law.

But it goes beyond one irresponsible radio show. Cowherd’s actions call into question the integrity of the entire media. The media has become a tool to punish or seek revenge on your enemies. In this instance, Cowherd used ESPN radio to make himself feel important, while striking out at the Internet. But this isn’t the first time a sports “journalist” has used the media as a platform for some type of personal grudge.

Even when it isn’t a personal grudge, the media can be a tool wielded against someone. In February, we reported about a Gannett sports editor who used quotes from an Internet hoax in an editorial attack on Nick Saban.

The media is powerful and because of its power, its “journalists” should conduct themselves ethically. Unfortunately, Cowherd and others harm the media’s image, and in doing so they harm the country. Without a strong and vibrant press, there is no restraint on corruption and tyranny. Cowherd and those like him must be disciplined for their bad behavior.