Friday, August 03, 2007

Saban and the lottery

Star sportswriter Creg Stephenson shares this tidbit from yesterday's news conference with UA football coach Nick Saban.
A little background. Saban was asked a question about his philosophy on recruiting walk-ons (non-scholarship players) and it kind of snowballed from there ...

(A partial transcript follows ...)

SABAN: "I think recruiting walk-ons is something … when you have an academic institution like we have here, a place that has a great reputation, a great tradition, there are a lot of kids that would like to come to school here. I think any time you can get a guy to come here as what we call a ‘preferred walk-on’ and invite him to fall camp, that has the potential to possibly be able to contribute to your team some day, I think you take those guys based on their overall qualities and characteristics, and not try to recruit those guys based on need. You’re pleased and happy to be able to get guys that fit that position.
"There are other schools in (other) states, including the one I came from, that have an advantage, because if you have a state scholarship that you can qualify for, it helps to recruit those kind of guys.
"Everybody understand what I’m talking about? Georgia has it. Louisiana has it."

REPORTER 1 (Thomas Murphy, Mobile Press-Register): "If you advocated it here, we could probably get a lottery passed."

SABAN: "Until we lose a game. So we better get it done quick."

REPORTER 2 (Ian Rapoport, Birmingham News): "I think (baseball coach) Jim Wells would probably kiss you."

SABAN: "It helps. It helps all sports. I helps the ones that don’t have the numbers, and have to split up scholarships, like baseball, track and things like that.
"If you guys want to start a campaign, I’m all for. Don’t hesitate. Don’t hold back on my part.
"You guys want to do something else, I’m all for having an agent law in this state, like Texas and Florida instituted, and Louisiana, so there are consequences if agents don’t abide by, certain rules and regulations. So if you guys really want to get on the soapbox, I’ll give you three or four things to get out there and stump on."

REPORTER 3 (Creg): "There is an agent law. I don’t know how strong it is, but there is one."

SABAN: "I just know how I like it."