Sunday Charles Robinson of Yahoo Sports reported that former Univ. of North Carolina assistant football coach John Blake had previously attempted to recruit Alabama football player Marcell Dareus for NFL agent Gary Wichard while Blake was still coaching the Tarheels.
(Saban uses lure of NFL to recruit in ‘Bama media guide)
In an ironic twist, the coach of Dareus at Alabama, Nick Saban, compared NFL agents to “pimps“ back in July in supposed frustration over their unsavory and oft-improper methods of recruiting current college football players.
In a not-so-ironic twist, Saban did not appreciate reporters yesterday pressing him on if he would also now qualify one of his most-decorated coaching colleagues, well-traveled assistant and former head coach of Oklahoma Blake, as a pimp.
Don Kausler, Jr., of the BIRMINGHAM NEWS recorded Saban’s comments in response to questions about Blake.
“First of all, I don’t know anything about this (Yahoo story detailing that then-North Carolina assistant coach Blake called Dareus to encourage Saban’s Alabama player to sign with NFL agent Wichard.)”
“Secondly, to me, it’s water that’s been under the bridge for several months now. It’s somewhere down in the Gulf of Mexico now. I really don’t have much care about talking about that.
“I have a tremendous amount of respect for the honesty, integrity and professionalism of what we do as coaches, and if somebody does something to violate that, everybody can make their judgment as to what that is.”
“Yeah, the agents. I’m not going to comment on coaches that do things that they have been accused of doing. I don’t really know anything about this. I haven’t thought about it. It’s not important to me. I’m worried about South Carolina. So if you want to talk about that, we’ll talk about that. But I’m not really going to talk about this anymore.”
Kausler reports that when Saban was next asked about Blake, he said:
“Is that South Carolina? I guess I must stutter. Did I stutter? I’m not very clear on how I articulate. Maybe I need to go back to West Virginia and get some more hillbilly slang and maybe everybody can understand me a little better.”
At the time Saban compared NFL agents to pimps, many media members cringed at the Alabama coach ignoring the seedier elements of his own profession.
That isn’t to say that Saban didn’t know exactly what he was doing at the time but now it’s impossible for him to ignore the inconvenient truth about his colleagues.