Blog Entry

Saban 'stepped over a convulsing player' in Miami

Posted on: December 7, 2011 4:11 pm
Edited on: December 7, 2011 7:17 pm
By Will Brinson

It's always been kind of assumed that Nick Saban is a bit of a tough guy when it comes to on-field coaching. But a story from former Dolphins player Heath Evans on Wednesday about Saban's time in Miami is just disturbing.

Evans, speaking on The Jorge Sedano Show Wednesday, said that during training camp in 2005, Saban encountered a player getting sick on the field ... and simply walked past him.

"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," Evans said. "Myself, about four other lineman are trying to carry him from the locker room, to 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."

That's a pretty disturbing story, obviously, and it seems to be confirmed. Greg Bedard, then working for the Palm Beach Post, reported the airlifting but not the incident of Saban walking past James.

Alex Holmes, a player on the 2005 Dolphins squad, noted on Twitter Tuesday night that James locker was next to his and that "it was brutal."

Two caveats to this story apply though. One, Evans is an Auburn grad, and Nick Saban is the current coach of Alabama. (Say what you want, it's worth noting.) And two, Evans also detailed that Saban later called a team meeting and addressed his players, excusing his behavior as a leadership tactic.

"Saban calls a team meeting about 10:30 that night," Evans said. "[He] 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 Jeno like that, I had to collect my thoughts and decide what’s best for our team.'"

There's no questioning that Saban knows how to lead a football team -- the man's got multiple national championships (and is about to play for another) and already has a statue next to Bear Bryant down in Tuscaloosa, even while he's still there coaching.

But it's not like 2005 is the dark ages or anything. As someone charged with the safety of his players, it's disturbing to hear that Saban would deal with a situation involving someone's health as callously as he did.

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Since: Jan 8, 2009
Posted on: December 7, 2011 10:03 pm

Saban 'stepped over a convulsing player' in Miami

What goes around comes around!

Since: May 23, 2008
Posted on: December 7, 2011 6:52 pm

Saban 'stepped over a convulsing player' in Miami

Say it ain't so Saint Nick.  Frankly Saban is perhaps the worst NFL hires ever. Petrino might be his equal. 

Since: Jun 26, 2007
Posted on: December 7, 2011 6:26 pm

Saban 'stepped over a convulsing player' in Miami

Even before this incident came to light, Saban was a first class a-hole.  National championships or not, the guy is a jerk.  This just confirms it more.

Since: Dec 7, 2011
Posted on: December 7, 2011 5:47 pm

Saban 'stepped over a convulsing player' in Miami

What Saban did in Miami was wrong and even unethical and disgusting, but it has NOTHING to do with his current Alabama team and what they have accomplished this year...Alabama deserves to be in the BCS title game as Oklahoma State can only blame themselves for losing to UNRANKED Iowa State...Alabama on the other hand knocked off four ranked teams and their only loss was in overtime to the #1 team. Alabama and LSU posted the two strongest resumes in the country this season and also happen to reside in the nation's predominant conference. How do you argue against surviving a combinded 24-1 recorded betweed the two, with the only loss coming because they had to play each other. No matter what system college football uses to determine its National Champion someone will not be happy. This year the system got the BCS game right...The Alabama players EARNED their spot in the BCS game....why hold what Saban did six years ago in Miami against the Alabama players who have worked hard to get where they are at.

Since: Jan 2, 2008
Posted on: December 7, 2011 5:34 pm

Saban 'stepped over a convulsing player' in Miami

Proofread your stinkin article!

He stepped over Jeno JAMES, yet it was someone named JONES who was airlifted? Fascinating.

Since: Dec 7, 2011
Posted on: December 7, 2011 4:37 pm

Saban 'stepped over a convulsing player' in Miami

   I heard about this story when it happened and Saban's "response" to the team clearly indicates what a social biuffoon he is. Here is an employee of his with a serious health issue and he has to leave the scene and go upstairs to collect his thoughts. Yet, during a game he demands spontaneous decisions from himself, players and the coaches. He only knows football. This is why he treated the secretaries and other workers at the Dolphins facility like peons. If a manager of a plant stepped over, or left the scene of a health emergency in my company he would be questioned. This does not show leadership. A quick thinker who directed routine first aid after making sure help was secured would be respected. Nick Saban is a selfish piece of garbage who only looks out for himself. His only skills are that of directiing a football team while on the field. What a boob.

Since: Aug 24, 2006
Posted on: December 7, 2011 4:36 pm

Saban 'stepped over a convulsing player' in Miami

He also has holes in the knees of his pants after "politicking" last week with various BCS execs.

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