Nick Saban is in the midst of a serious public relations blitz with appearances on Fox SportsSouth and public speeches in Montgomery and Birmingham. This shouldn’t signal a major change in Saban’s openness to the media or the public, but it is more Saban than the public has seen since he was introduced as head football coach in a triumphant arrival worthy of Caesar.
On Wednesday morning, Saban stopped in Montgomery to speak to children at the YMCA. Saban used the appearance to talk about NCAA violations. He told the Montgomery Advertiser: “I think everybody has some secondary violations,” Saban said. “I think what we want to do at the University of Alabama is to do things the right way and we’re certainly committed to not violating rules. I think most institutions have some secondary violations on occasions and that’s not something we ever want to have but I think it’s part of doing business.” Saban reminded the media that he has served on the ethics committee and the football rules committee in the past.
The purpose of the Montgomery visit wasn’t just to speak to the press, but was to speak to children at a local civic organization. The Advertiser reported: “Saban spent about 20 minutes talking to approximately 400 children at the Cleveland Avenue Spirit Rally, urging them to strive for success, demonstrate perseverance and build character. He mixed in references to Muhammad Ali, Michael Jordan and Martin Luther King in an effort to reach the pre-teen group of African Americans.
In Birmingham, Saban spoke to the Downtown Rotary Club. He used the speech to talk about his priorities for scheduling, according to the Birmingham News.
The News quoted Saban: “I’d like to play Notre Dame,” Saban said during a question-and- answer period following Wednesday’s speech to a packed room of members of the Rotary Club of Birmingham. “We played them three times at Michigan State and beat them three times. That was a great national game, it creates fan interest and TV will always jump on those games.”
Fox SportsSouth to air “In My Own Words: Nick Saban” July 14 at 9:30 p.m. See a preview here.