The college football offseason for Nick Saban is strenuous, but necessary. He temporarily removes the football coach hat and puts on his political hairpiece. Traveling around Alabama and the surrounding states on his whirlwind Crimson Caravan tour, Saban makes appearances at benefit dinners, hotel events, even golf tournaments, answering reporters’ questions at every turn because it’s in his job description.
So during a session with reporters in Nashville on Thursday, Saban answered the typical football-related questions then was asked for a response to former West Virginia quarterback Pat White saying he was offered a Corvette by Alabama during his recruitment process.
White was recruited before Saban arrived at Alabama, which was made clear by interjecting Alabama Associate Athletic Director and chief Saban wrangler Jeff Purinton. But instead of ignoring it altogether – or storming off – the coach responded anyway with a question and a statement:
“I didn’t even know it happened, so I can’t comment on it,” Saban said. “Is that the best thing we can talk about?
“Kiss my ass.”
Just reading the quote makes it sound harsh and supercilious but because this is May, it was said with a wry smile and accompanied by laughter. This is political offseason, jovial Saban. Reporters are still an adversary during this time of year, but they serve as more of a casual annoyance as opposed to being a physical detriment to Alabama’s footballing progress.
If a question like this – one as speculative and potentially inflammatory – was asked in September, during a game week, the answer would’ve been drastically different.
It’s doubtful that any other White-related questions will be vaguely lobbed toward Saban over the next month of public appearances, but I do know that “Kiss My Ass” shirts and flags and bumper stickers and everything else with Saban’s face on them are already being printed.