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Friday, May 17, 2013
Saban disappointed with 'devil' comments

By Edward Aschoff

After being referred to as the devil in some form or fashion twice in the past few months, Nick Saban sounds a little fed up.

While talking to members of the media in Atlanta on Thursday, he called the recent "devil himself" comments made by Florida offensive line coach Tim Davis "terribly disappointing."

"I try to do right by the people that work for me," Saban said, according to AL.com. "It's a tough, demanding job. And at the same time, if anybody had an issue or problem with me, I would want them to just tell me."

Here's what Davis, who was an assistant under Saban with the NFL's Miami Dolphins, said at a booster club meeting Tuesday:

"I've always wanted to work with Will [Muschamp]," Davis said at a booster club meeting Tuesday. "Will's got a plan. Will coached under the devil himself for seven years. I only did three. He did seven. And his DNA is not any different than Nick."

This spring, Vanderbilt coach James Franklin called Saban "Nicky Satan" while at a high school sports banquet. He later apologized for his remarks.

Still, the choice of words have irked Saban.

"Twice. On two occasions," Saban said. "It's just disappointing. If somebody has a problem with me, I'd appreciate it if they'd tell me. If I'm doing something to offend somebody, I'd certainly like to do whatever I have to do to fix it. It's not our intention. It's not what we try to do.

"We're in a tough business. It's very competitive. Sometimes you've got to demand that people do things that maybe they don't want to do, but it's not personal."

What these coaches have said was truly in jest. They're looking to pump up fans and generate some excitement. It's a little extreme to refer to anyone as the devil, but if it gets fans happy and cheering, coaches will do it.

It's all for a laugh, but Saban isn't amused. It sounds like he understands the deal, but it appears he's getting a little tired of the comments. Even someone who has absolutely no incentive to listen to what others say can only take so much.

But at the end of the day, Saban will keep trucking. He'll brush these comments off and get back to work ... on trying to win his third straight national championship.

That's not devilish. That's admirable.