A Sorry Way to Leave

The Nick Saban era is now over, and we can say now unequivocally that it was a flop. It was a major disappointment on the field, but what really stunk is the way Saban handled his departure. To put simply, it was totally classless from A to Z.

In fact, Saban could be criticized about so many things that have happened over the last several months.

Owner Wayne Huizenga said during a press conference Wednesday that he arbored no ill feelings toward Saban, even saying he would root for him at the University of Alabama.

Give credit to Huizenga for taking the high road, but we'll bet there will be many others who won't be so kind toward the man some have nicknamed the "Nicktator."

And for good reason.

Saban time and time again denied any interest in the Alabama job from the time his name was mentioned, even denying and then undenying that the school had contacted his agent.

And then there are the various reports suggesting many underhanded things Saban did, such as having his agent, Jimmy Sexton, put out word in the middle of the Dolphins season that his client was interested in going back to college.

Whenever the question of Alabama surfaced, Saban acted indignantly, as if the media had no right to ask the question.

Instead of simply stating something along the lines of, "I do not wish to address any rumors involving my situation because I'm in the middle of a season," Saban tried to make it sound as though the "rumors and innuendos," as he put them were way out of line.

It got to the point where a reporter suggested to Saban that he could end the questioning but just saying he wasn't going to be coaching at Alabama.

Saban's response? "I'm not going to be the Alabama coach. I shouldn't even have to comment on this. I think I've said this over and over again. What they do with their position is their business."

But even then, there was a report in an Alabama newspaper suggesting that every time Saban made a public denial, his agent would call the university shortly after to tell officials he still was interested.

Look, Saban has the right to do what he wants. Huizenga indicated Wednesday the move wasn't about money, and the best guess is that his wife simply didn't like South Florida and/or Saban badly wanted to return to the college game.

From that standpoint, Saban is guilty only of not fully analyzing everything before he signed a five-year contract with the Dolphins in December of 2004.

But the way he handled things and lied about everything, telling Huizenga time and time again he wasn't going anywhere, made everybody associated with the Dolphins look bad.

The truth is, though, that nobody is looking as bad right now as Nick Saban.

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