Nick Saban will attempt to win a 4th national championship and 3rd as Alabama head coach when the Crimson Tide collides with Notre Dame tonight in Miami, a momentous occasion that causes the New York Times’ Greg Bishop to bring up the collapse of Miami OL Jeno James during the Nicktator’s brief tenure with the Dolphins. During Saban’s inaugural training camp, writes Bishop, “he told his new team, so many millionaires, to ‘just shut up’m a sentence he punctuated with an expletive. On other occasions, he made more than one player cry.” And then there’s Saban’s reaction to James’ health scare, as chronicled in this space in December of 2007 (“Heath Evans Humbly Suggests That Nick Saban Is An Intensely Creepy Human Being”) ;
790 The Ticket’s Jorge Sedano derives no small amount of pleasure from tweaking former Dolphins / current Alabama head coach Nick Saban (above), so you might say a Tuesday chat with Miami FB Heath Evans was sort of like an early Christmas for the sports yack host. Sedano asked Evans if there was “an example of something he (Saban) did to someone while you were there that made you shake your head, you’re like, ‘That stuff doesn’t work here'”. Evans proceeded to describe an incident that occurred during the latter half of two-a-day practices to start 2005’s Dolphins training camp (transcript swiped from Black Sports Online)
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. Myself, about four other lineman are trying to carry him from the locker room, to the training room.
Obviously it’s a moment of panic, everyone, you know, we don’t know if this guy’s, you know, gonna die, I mean, the whole deal. But he’s so big and sweaty and heavy that we actually have to set him down in the hallway between the locker room and 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.
Saban calls a team meeting about 10:30 that night, 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 Geno like that, I had to collect my thoughts and decide what’s best for our team.’