Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Probation is Over!

Here is a post from


By David Wasson
Executive Sports Editor

TUSCALOOSA | Feb. 1, 2002 was perhaps the darkest day in University of Alabama football history -- the day the NCAA handed down penalties and probation to the Crimson Tide. Thursday, the Tide's five-year probation ends.

To mark the date, both looking back on how and why Alabama found itself "staring down the barrel" of the NCAA's gun as well as examining whether Alabama football is better off having gone through the process, we present a multi-part package both in print and online.

Christopher Walsh dissects the sting of Alabama's NCAA punishment, as well as all that has happened since Feb. 1, 2002. He also tracks down the key players -- both on the field and off -- that were associated with Alabama, the NCAA, the SEC and beyond during that period. Cecil Hurt offers a unique commentary reflecting on probation and its effects. And various documents -- both public and unprecedented -- will be published again online.

All that appears in the Thursday, Feb. 1, 2007 edition of The Tuscaloosa News, and online at

David Wasson
aka = ESE D-Dub
Executive Sports Editor
The Tuscaloosa News

Article Regarding Recruiting Difficulties

This article was in the Mobile Press-Register today.

In part, he writes,

"Saban's recruitment of McNeil resembled his two-year stint with the Miami Dolphins -- lots of hype and some promising moments followed by failure. Saban, Michael McNeil said, "was by my side the entire visit," eating dinner with the 6-foot-3, 205-pounder Friday and Saturday night and detailing how the free safety would fit in to his plans of rebuilding Alabama into an elite-level SEC football program.

As it turns out, Saban's dinner date with McNeil marked the end of the hurried courtship. On Tuesday, McNeil accepted a proposal from another suitor. Instead of wearing crimson and white, McNeil will try to help keep Alabama down the next four or five years.

"Me not really having that relationship with coach Saban, because he only had a short time to try and recruit me, is really what threw them off," Michael McNeil said, adding that he felt compelled to "follow my heart."

Despite Saban's best recruiting effort and his national championship pedigree, McNeil committed to Auburn Tuesday. Therein lies the biggest difference between Saban's last college job and his current one.

In Louisiana, there is no Auburn. In Alabama, Auburn is a worthy adversary, a top-10 program with stability, continuity and few question marks. For Alabama, Auburn is a threat and vice-versa. There's no such animal at LSU. Winning at LSU -- with apologies to Gerry DiNardo and Curley Hallman -- isn't difficult. It's one of the five top jobs in the country because LSU gets the pick of the best in a talent-filled state. Louisiana Tech, Louisiana-Monroe and Tulane aren't exactly Auburn."

My response:

I can't totally disagree with him, but, recruiting for Alabama is easier than recruiting for LSU in other areas outside the state. For example, Saban might have more success drawing a player from Florida to Alabama than LSU. Besides that, he's been on the job ONE MONTH. The guy needs to give him and his staff time to develop some relationships.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

"It is what it is"

Articles Wednesday 1/2/07

Alabama Lands the Man it Wanted All Along - Ben Cook

Saban Leaves Dolphins for Alabama

PA SportsTicker College Football Editor By Aaron Rennie

Saban Going to Alabama - USA Today

Saban Leaving the Dolphins for Alabama - NY Times

Fans Roll with Saban Coaching Change

Saban Will Find Crowded Pond in Tuscaloosa

Reaction to Bama's Hiring of Saban - AP

Saban time!
Miami Dolphins coach accepts eight-year, $30 million deal to become Alabama’s 27th head football coach, By Cecil Hurt and David Wasson, Tuscaloosa News

Nick Saban Arrives

At 3:51 p.m. Nick Saban has arrived at the Tuscaloosa airport and his plane has come to a halt, according to Paul Finebaum.

Rick Karle of Fox 6 stated that the reception was as if John, Paul, George, and Ringo had arrived in Tuscaloosa.

Nick Saban said that he just wanted to shake hands with people and that he was glad to be here and happy to be here.

This tells you what this means to the Bama Nation and how hungry they have been. Finebaum said he just "blew off" the reporters.

Ms Saban bragged on Huizenga and said he was the only reason they went to Miami. Said there were a lot of reasons and that their heart craved the college traditions.

He said "I wanted to be in college football and this is a great place."

Saban agrees to contract with Alabama

Saban agrees to contract with Alabama

By Alex Marvez
Posted January 3 2007, 10:34 AM EST
DAVIE -- The Nick Saban coaching era with the Dolphins has ended.

A source said Wednesday morning that Saban has agreed to become the new head coach at the University of Alabama, ending his two-year tenure with the Dolphins.


A source said Saban failed to show this morning for a scheduling meeting at team headquarters in Davie with Dolphins owner H. Wayne Huizenga. Saban told Huizenga of his intentions via telephone and then informed all of his coaches by speakerphone that he was leaving to accept the Alabama position, the source said.

Saban agrees to contract with Alabama

Saban agrees to contract with Alabama

By Alex Marvez
Posted January 3 2007, 10:34 AM EST
DAVIE -- The Nick Saban coaching era with the Dolphins has ended.

A source said Wednesday morning that Saban has agreed to become the new head coach at the University of Alabama, ending his two-year tenure with the Dolphins.

Day of Reckoning

At 8:37 a.m. we are supposedly within minutes of finding out confirmation whether Nick Saban will be Bama's new coach. Reports from Miami are saying it's a "done deal". While that makes sense, I am still waiting for the official word.

UA still on hold as Saban weighs choices, By Cecil Hurt, Sports Editor, Tuscaloosa News

Going or staying? Nick Saban to announce decision at 10 a.m., South Florida Sun-Sentinel

From Birmingham News:

Source: Saban tells assistant he'll take Alabama job
Miami Dolphins coach Nick Saban told a Dolphins assistant coach on Tuesday night that he had decided to accept the University of Alabama head coaching job, a source close to the situation said this morning.

Meanwhile, another source said Saban's wife, Terry, contacted the UA athletics administration this morning regarding housing arrangements.

However, a third source cautioned this morning that the situation was ever-changing, and that Dolphins owner Wayne Huizenga was still making efforts to keep Saban in Miami.

Saban and Huizenga were scheduled to meet at approximately 9 o'clock this morning. Saban said Tuesday that he intended to inform Huizenga of a decision then.

The plane that took Alabama Athletics Director Mal Moore to Miami on Monday afternoon was still in Miami at 9:15 a.m. CST today but its engine was running.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Reports and Rumors Continue

Reports are coming fast and furious regarding the Saban soap opera. During the past few minutes, reports have been made that it is a done deal that Saban will be the next head coach at Alabama. This was reported by Scott Moore, a talk radio host from Pensacola and While being interviewed by Paul Finebaum, Moore actually claimed that one of his sources was Athletic Director Mal Moore. Later Mitch Dobbs of told Finebaum that Mal Moore was not one of their sources. ESPN’s Chris Mortenson reported that Saban told his assistants that he was really struggling with the decision. His assistants reportedly have the "distinct impression" that he will take the head coaching position at Alabama. The Fort Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel reported that Dolphins owner Wayne Huzinga told the media that Saban will delay his decision until 10 a.m. ET tomorrow.
We’ll see…

The Coach Search Continues

Alabama began 2007 the same way they ended 2006, still searching for a head coach. The search immediately became more active yesterday after the end of the NFL regular season. Most sports media are reporting that Alabama has offered the job to Miami Dolphin Head Coach Nick Saban. It is also reported that we may know whether he takes the job by this afternoon.

Miami Herald

Palm Beach Post

Tuscaloosa News, Cecil Hurt

Monday, January 01, 2007

Welcome to the 2007 Alabama Crimson Tide

It's time to start my fan blog for the 2007 Alabama Crimson Tide. Before looking forward, let's look back 53 years ago today.