It’s funny how time tells all

By InTheKnow72
If you believe the pundits—especially in his first year at Alabama—Nick Saban is the devil. He works coaches into the ground. He runs them off. He makes secretaries cry when they ask about his haircut. And in general, he cares nothing about people. Probably kicks their puppy dogs when he has the chance too.

THAT’S why Lance Thompson bolted for Tennessee, right? He was tired of working for a dictator. He was tired of being denied the spotlight, tired of being constrained by Saban’s media gag for assistants. He wanted to spread his wings, do things his own way…be his own man.

No, actually we learned Monday that there’s another reason. Thanks to the gift of public records—and the Birmingham News covering it—Mrs. Thompson wanted out. Not out of Tuscaloosa. Out of their marriage. I’ve heard the speculation of who was cheating on who, and I’ll leave that to the speculators. Divorce is a nasty, dreadful thing, so I wouldn’t want to trivialize what their three kids are about to go through in this space. My prayers are with them as their parents muck up their lives for them.

But the fact is, time proved that the quick answer wasn’t the right answer. Sure the Vols are doubling his salary, but turns out he is going to need it. And anyone worried that he is going to do damage to Alabama’s 2009 class has never watched a friend go through a divorce, let alone go through one themselves. That cat won’t have time to do anything else but circle the wagons and hang on for dear life. And that’s the next 12 months, let alone the next three weeks. Truth be known, I’m not sure how productive he could have been working for Saban. Under Spurrier, working from 10-3 every day, it might work. But not under the Nicktator.

Then there’s the notion that Saban just isn’t a family man. It’s all business. Again, his coaches are robots that he disposes of when they run out of gas. But I have it from a solid source that this fiery, mean-spirited general sank about $300K in video equipment for his coaches to have in their own homes, so they could do film study when necessary after tucking their children into bed. In fact, I know of one coach who does just that—every night.

Let’s face it; when you sign up to be a coach in a conference like the SEC, there are a few givens you’re going to take on. Long hours are one of them, with periods of the year where this is more true than others. But to whom much is given, much is required…and if you’ll check the salary of assistants in this league, much is given. But it just strikes me as funny the perception Saban is given when he is simply misunderstood through the lenses and pens of the media parasites he so appropriately doesn’t trust.

Is he a deacon in his local church? No. Do I wish he’d taper off the obsenities when his little Saban head turns red from anger on the sidelines? Yes. But does he care enough about what anybody thinks to make sure the truth is heard when the public and/or media runs with a perception or initial reaction when the whole thing is bogus? No. And that’s the mark of a good leader. Because time has a way of putting the truth in everybody’s laps.


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  1. 1
    Auburnisajoke formerly the fan known as Ballplay Indian.

    ITK…………Let the man go. Please stop it man. Just stop it!!!!!!!!!!

    Nick Saban does not go home every day and eat cotton candy while riding his pet pony. Hes a tyrant. Read caps evaluation of him. He is a tyrant. Face it. That isnt really a bad thing. Yes , you will have a revolving door with assistants. Yes he will piss people off. He will run people off. That isnt bad. He will get the best from everyone around him. Some people cant handle that.

    How do you spin away Steeles departure ? How do you explain the countless assistants over the years who all say the same thing ? That hes a tyrant. But they say he doesnt ask any more from them than hes willing to do. So hes a fair tyrant.

    What Im saying is this. If an assisntant chooses to leave for whatever the reason, money, stress, maritial problems. Just let him go. He is just another spoke in the whell.

    Emrace Nick Saban for what he is. Quit trying to paint a warm and fuzzy picture of him. He is a harnose , old scholl coach. Embrace that, love that, be proud of that. I wish we had a hardnose coach.

  2. 2

    I agree ballplay. As I said in response to he first article about Thompson’s marital situation, let it go. This is not a proper topic for discussion, despite Finebaum’s cop-out excuse that “it’s ok to talk about it in public because divorce filings are a matter of public record.” Yeah. Like Mrs. Thompson or those kids had anything to do with passing that law. The guy’s got kids, so drop it. ITK, it doesn’t make writing the article any more justified by saying that his family is in your prayers, either. If you really care about his family, quit dragging his damn divorce out on a public website for the sole purpose of trying to do damage control for Nick Saban. He doesn’t need your help. From what I can tell, you and I both have kids. Just like me, I’m sure you’d want to kick the livin’ @#!% out of someone if they were writing media articles about your divorce. (Not that you’ve ever been through one. For the “record”, neither have I.)

  3. 4

    Julio, for the most part I agree with you, but this is an Alabama forum website, dealing with issues surrounding Alabama atheletics. I’ve been critical and supportive of coaches when the facts warranted it. But the truth is, Thompson’s personal life factored in to his decision to depart. So when those who live to see Alabama fall quickly shout “Aha” when a coach like Thompson leaves, I’m sorry, but that’s part of the conversation. It’s not a copout to tell the truth.

    I wish him all the best, and the same for his family. I wonder if you feel the same way about James Willis.

  4. 5

    I absolutely feel the same way about Willis. I also don’t blame Willis one bit for what he did. By all indications, he was getting jerked around by Auburn with the fire-rehire thing, and then Auburn wanted its severance check back with no guarantee of a raise, etc. Also, unlike a multitude of both bammers and barners, I recognize that this is first and foremost a job for these guys. They’re gonna do what is best for their careers. If Willis wants to be a coordinator and then head coach one day, he’s not gonna get there by holding the same position at Auburn year after year. All us AU fans got our feelings hurt when Muschamp left, but he’s lookin’ pretty smart right now. I’ll be the first to admit that it also looks good on a resume to work for Saban for a few years, also. I like talking smack as much as anybody ITK, but don’t ever mistake me for one of these rubes who are so blinded by their crimson or orange/blue glasses that they can’t even see straight.

    P.S. All that being said, I will again admit that it stings for Willis to leave and go to Bama. Not many bammers would admit as much. Saban just picked up a hell of an asst, and yes asst’s do matter.

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