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Thursday, May 16, 2013
'Devil' remark disappoints Nick Saban

ESPN.com news services

Alabama coach Nick Saban responded Thursday to critical comments made by a former assistant coach, calling Tim Davis' words "terribly disappointing."

Davis, now Florida's offensive line coach, called Saban "the devil himself" while comparing him to Gators coach Will Muschamp during a booster club meeting Tuesday.

Saban spoke to the media before a promotional tour stop at Turner Field in Atlanta.

"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."

Davis' comments came less than four months after Vanderbilt coach James Franklin referred to Saban as "Nicky Satan" during a high school sports banquet. Franklin later apologized for his comment, claiming it was meant strictly as a joke.

"Twice. On two occasions," Saban said Thursday. "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."

Davis worked for Saban as the Miami Dolphins' offensive line coach for two seasons before becoming the director of player personnel at Alabama in 2008.

"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."

Saban said he didn't blame Muschamp, also a former assistant, or the Gators for Davis' comment.

"I know it's not representative of Will Muschamp and the University of Florida and the way they do things," Saban said. "I know that, because I'm close enough to Will to know that."