Media Days: ALABAMA
POINT OF ORDER: Internet here at the Wynfrey Hotel is down. I am on cellular broadband ... along with a lot of people. It's slow. Bear with me.
The coach is Nick Saban.
- He is here.
- He claims to be thankful for the "self-gratification" us reporters give his players.
- He said he doesn't want to talk about last year. "We're not really defending a championship. A championship is part of history."
- Alabama lost 11 starters, a punter, a kicker and its top kick returner ... though he was one of the 11 starters, too.
- "Even if we had all the ingredients back, it would be difficult to manufacture the same chemistry."
- "Every team in the West is going to be better than they were a year ago, in our estimation."
- On the Dareus situation: "Our compliance people are looking into it in conjunction with the NCAA. We're going to find out."
- On agents in general: "It's entrapment of young people at a very difficult time of their life. As college coaches, we should look into that. We treat the NFL as well as anybody when they come to University of Alabama. If something doesn't happen ... I'm not sure that same hospitality will be welcomed in the future."
- "It's not a good situation. It was a bad situation for Reggie Bush at Southern Cal and it's a bad situation all around. We should all drive the speed limit because it's for everyone's safety. I'll be honest ... I drive the speed limit because I don't want to get a ticket. The agent should have consequences. Right now, they don't."
- On the fans' expectations: "I wouldn't want to somewhere where they didn't have high expectations. I just ask that they be realistic. Our positive fan support has been a real asset of us turning around the football fortunes at University of Alabama."
- More on agents: "It's not really the NFL; it's the NFLPA. It's something that's affecting college football in a negative. It's not in the best interest of the young people. It's not really good for anyone. I don't think it's anything but greed that's motivating them."
- "How are they any better than a pimp?"
- He visited the Gulf Coast recently. He went "quietly" to provide support. I think he meant emotional support.
- More on agents: "A player's best resume is the way he plays. He doesn't really need an agent until the season is over."
- That's a wrap.