GUILBEAU: The truth shall set you free?

The Alabama coach looked into the eyes of the media and said, "I have no other plans than to stay at Alabama."

It was Dec. 4, 2002, and the Alabama coach at that moment was Dennis Franchione.

On Dec. 5, 2002, Franchione accepted the head coaching job at Texas A&M.


Apparently, they lie on the way in and out of Alabama.


On Dec. 21, 2006, Miami Dolphins coach Nick Saban said, "I guess I have to say it. I'm not going to be the Alabama coach."


On Jan. 3, 2007, he became the Alabama coach.


Suddenly, former Alabama coach Mike "Lap Dance" Price looks like one of the most honest coaches in the business.


Saban is only the latest liar. He also chose a very large stage, pushed it, ripped the media for asking the question and generally made a huge jerk out of himself. In reality, though, he is no worse than countless other coaches before him all over the country.


LSU coach Paul Dietzel, who won the Tigers' only Associated Press national championship in 1958, said, he'd "never leave LSU." He went to Army after the 1961 season.


LSU coach Bill Arnsparger said he was going to Florida in 1986 "just to talk." He left LSU after the 1986 season to become Florida's athletic director.


LSU offensive coordinator Jimbo Fisher said just last month at the Sugar Bowl that he had talked to no one at Florida State. Technically, he was telling the truth because his agent - Jimmy Sexton - had been doing the talking. But that is extremely misleading and dishonest, especially since Fisher was the one who brought up "Florida State" at the press conference. Plus, if your agent is talking on your behalf, by definition, you're talking.


And if you're agent is Jimmy Sexton, lying is the norm.


When Tommy Tuberville - another Sexton client - was Ole Miss' coach in 1998 he said if he left Ole Miss it would be in a "pine box." He got out of Oxford, Miss., alive to become Auburn's coach.


Dennis Erickson has lied just about everywhere he's been. Most recently, he said if he left Idaho, he would have to retire. He is now in Arizona, which has a huge retirement population, but he didn't retire. He's the coach at Arizona State.


West Virginia coach Rich Rodriguez had the audacity to call a radio show talking about his candidacy at Alabama to say that he had no interest in the job. A few days later, he interviewed at Alabama.


Incidentally, Saban's first denials of an interest in Alabama must have had some truth to them. Or else Alabama would not have gone after Rodriguez.


Butch Davis may be the biggest liar of all. Most coaches just lie to the media, which could be considered a venial sin since we're not real people. But Davis, while he was the Miami Hurricanes coach, lied to every prospect he signed during recruiting season in 2001.


Then right after signing day he became the coach of the Cleveland Browns.


Saban didn't start lying with the Miami Dolphins, believe me. While LSU's coach after the 2002 season, I asked him if he interviewed with the Jacksonville Jaguars. He said no. The very next day, news broke out of Jacksonville that he had interviewed with that team for eight hours.


It is great that LSU coach Les Miles is suddenly more popular because coach Satan is now at Alabama, but Miles could stand some truth serum himself.


Miles lied just the other day at a press conference about his lack of knowledge concerning LSU quarterback Ryan Perrilloux being interviewed by federal authorities in a counterfeiting probe in La Place.


"I know nothing about what you're talking about," Miles said in his best Sergeant Schultz impersonation to a question about Perrilloux.


In fact, Miles had spoken to Perrilloux's high school coach just days before about Perrilloux's situation.


So, what's a young impressionable football player to do if all coaches are liars? Why, he can lie right back. This is what West Monroe defensive end Luther Davis has done. After telling LSU coaches he would not visit Alabama, he did just that over the weekend.


I guess the devil made him do it.




Glenn Guilbeau covers LSU and the Southeastern Conference for Gannett News Service. Read him at  or in the Shreveport Times, Monroe News-Star, Alexandria Daily Town Talk, Lafayette Advertiser, Opelousas Daily World and occasionally USA Today. You can contact him at

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