Saban Has Words For Those Who Boo

Alabama Coach Nick Saban just heard about a Bryant-Denny Stadium "tradition," and he doesn't like it. It's a relatively new phenomenon, and Saban went on record in the strongest possible manner against it in his Wednesday press briefing.

Nick Saban said "Boo! Hiss!" to booing. Actually, his language was a bit stronger.

In the most successful period of Alabama football, the Paul Bryant years, Crimson Tide fans did not boo the opponent. In later years, Crimson Tide fans began booing the major opponents -- Tennessee, Auburn, and the like -- when they came onto the field.

More recently, the boos were extended to the likes of San Jose State. When Saban heard that Tide fans had booed San Jose State, he said he couldn't believe it.

This week Alabama will be on national television (ESPN) hosting Penn State. Kickoff is at 6 p.m. CDT.

Saban hopes that Crimson Tide fans will not boo the visiting Nittany Lions of Coach Joe Paterno.

Saban said, "I think the environment will be great and Saturday's game will be great."

He said that he frequently talks about the tremendous amount of class at The University of Alabama. He praised University President Dr. Robert Witt for "a fantastic job of making this a very well known and respected national institution."

He also said Alabama football from Bryant-Denny Stadium "is probably the largest window that anyone looks at the state of Alabama and maybe The University of Alabama.

"And I just don't think there's any place for booing in college football. And that includes booing the other team. That's certainly not what I think class institutions should do to their own or anyone else.

"We can cheer for our team. Because what our team does doesn't have anything to do with the other team."

But when Penn State and future opponents come onto the Bryant-Denny Stadium field, Saban said, "I think it would be a damn crying-ass shame if we boo them. I just don't understand that."

Alabama tight end Preston Dial was asked if he was aware of Alabama being booed.

"Absolutely," he said. "LSU. Auburn. A lot of those teams. Pretty much every road game we get booed."

And how does that affect him?

"Personally," he said, "it's a motivating factor."

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