The Rumor Mill; Navigating The Mis-Information Surrounding Nick Saban

Wayne SmithCorrespondent IMay 24, 2010

TUSCALOOSA, AL - APRIL 17:  Coach Nick Saban of the Alabama Crimson Tide reacts during the Alabama spring game at Bryant Denny Stadium on April 17, 2010 in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. (Photo by Dave Martin/Getty Images)
Dave Martin/Getty Images

The rumor mill went into hyper-drive concerning Nick Saban in the month of May.  From Auburn's attempts to loophole the NCAA rules concerning recruiting during spring evaluation visits to the Alabama governor's race, Nick Saban's name has been linked to stories that has nothing to do with him.

On March 26, 2010 Auburn's Tiger Prowl hit the road as the university continued to flood the high schools with coaches during what should be a simple evaluation process.  Five days later the NCAA told them to park their bus. 

What does this have to do with Nick Saban?  In a word: Nothing. 

But because an old friend of the Crimson Tide's coach was named president of the NCAA the members of the Auburn "Family" starting spreading false accusations and innuendos.

The facts tell a different story. 

On July 1, 2009, Proposal 2009-35 (The Tiger Prowl Rule) was submitted for consideration by the Big East Conference.  Two months later the Football Issues Committee recommended its approval.  After the Recruiting and Athletics Personnel Issues Cabinet opposed the rule on September 22 it was sent to the Legislative Council for an initial review.

It wasn't until an April 12-13 meeting that the Legislative Council adopted the proposal  and it was made into law by the Board of Directors, two days after Emmert was hired. But I doubt that the Auburn faithful will let facts get in the way of their way of thinking. 

Nick Saban also had his name come up in the Alabama governor's race.

Auburn grad and Republican hopeful Tim James felt it necessary to tweet this: "Dispelling another untruth from the Byrne camp: I will neither be firing nor cutting Coach Saban's salary if elected."

Whether James said that or not, as governor of Alabama he certainly wouldn't have that power.  If elected James would hold a seat on numerous college and university board of directors in Alabama, but like everybody else he would only hold one vote at each school.

But this rumor may be based on some facts.

Alan Blinder, the former managing Editor of The Crimson White, UA's campus newspaper, claims to have heard James make the comment while visiting the editorial board of The Crimson White.

"It was kind of an off-handed remark," Blinder said. "I think it was a way to put us at ease, but he did make the comment -- joke or not."

I hope no 'Bama fans switch party allegiance over a misplaced and ill-timed joke, but I'm sure political campaigns have been derailed over similar and less polarizing statements.

At any rate, Nick Saban has already been falsely accused for the demise of the Tiger Prowl, lets not start accusing him of ending Tim James' political aspirations as well.