Nick Saban is everywhere these days. Read all about his plans for the rest of the spring and summer in today’s story in 3…2…1 …
MUSCLE SHOALS — There’s football season, then recruiting season, followed by spring practice.
Not much changes in the Alabama football routine. It’s the slow time for players, but show time for coach Nick Saban. The road is his home in May. Well, more like the air.
The Crimson Tide football coach needed just a 30-minute flight to hit yet another speaking engagement Tuesday evening. He packed the conference center at the Marriott Shoals Hotel and Spa with about 750 fans handing over $50 a pop.
Fans sipped cocktails in the lobby occupied by traveling Alabama memorabilia sales teams. A few VIPs got a meet-and-greet and a commemorative photo with Saban in a side room just off the packed main hall. Saban jokes about directly communicating with the base instead of allowing the media to filter his message.
“Spring is a lot of speaking. I really enjoy it,” Saban said. “I really enjoy getting out, meeting a lot of our people. It’s the one time of the year when I get an opportunity to do it.”
Spring isn’t what it once was, though, and Saban misses the old way.
He used to spend the time after spring practice on the road evaluating the next class of star recruits. That changed in 2008, when the NCAA passed a rule prohibiting head coaches from any such in-person inspections. It was nicknamed “the Saban rule,” after the Alabama coach was accused of speaking to prospects beyond the mandated casual greeting.
“I really do miss spring recruiting and not being able to go on the road, but we’ve adapted, and my involvement is talking on video conferences and the telephone and doing as much as I can in evaluation and getting ready for next year’s opponents.”
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