Nick Saban has never been known for his warm and fuzzy demeanor. For example, in the closing moments of Alabama's national championship game victory over Texas in 2010, Saban famously reacted unfavorably to the celebratory Gatorade bath his team gave him.
But this behavior doesn't hold a candle to what he's being accused of by a former player.
On Tuesday, former NFL player Heath Evans appeared on the Jorge Sedano show and spoke about his experiences with Saban when he was the head coach of the Miami Dolphins. Evans mentions one particularly revealing and alarming instance, which happened during Dolphins training camp in 2005 in Saban's first season as head coach.
Jeno James, our best offensive lineman at the time, comes in and collapses after practice, uh, vomiting all kinds of stuff that would make a billygoat puke, eyes rolled in the back of his head. Myself, about four other lineman are trying to carry him from the locker room, to the training room.
Obviously it's a moment of panic, everyone, you know, we don't know if this guy's, you know, gonna die, I mean, the whole deal. But he's so big and sweaty and heavy that we actually have to set him down in the hallway between the locker room and the training room.
Nick Saban literally just starts walking in, steps over Jeno James convulsing, doesn't say a word, doesn't try to help, goes upstairs, I don't know what he does. But then obviously they get Jeno trauma-offed to the hospital.
Saban calls a team meeting about 10:30 that night, comes down and says, 'You know, the captain of the ship can never show fear or indecision, we've always gotta have an answer, and so I had to go upstairs, that's why I walked over Geno like that, I had to collect my thoughts and decide what's best for our team.'
Evans went on to say that he along with other team leaders were upset with the display. "He showed no human emotion for one of his best players," Evans explained. "He literally stepped over him when four or five grown men are trying to carry Jeno to the training room."
If true, the story is disturbing to be sure, and would only further the somewhat cold aura that surrounds Saban. After two seasons of coaching the Dolphins, Saban returned to the college ranks, where he proceeded to rebuild Alabama into a national power. His Crimson Tide will face off against his former employer, the LSU Tigers, on January 9th 2012 in the BCS championship game.