In less than a month, Blake Barnett went from being the starting quarterback of the Alabama Crimson Tide to transferring out of the program. As you might imagine, that’s not a decision that sits well with Nick Saban.
Still, Saban should be careful not to throw stones in crimson-glassed houses.
Saban went on a diatribe Thursday about how the kids today don’t seem to be made of sterner stuff like his generation and his daddy’s generation.
“There’s certain pride people have in competition. There’s certain things I was taught growing up about not quitting and seeing things through. I think if I’d come home and told my dad that I was going to quit the team, I think he’d have kicked me out of the house. I don’t think I’d have had a place to stay. Sometimes you didn’t have the choices.”
“My dad used to say the grass is always greener on the top of the septic tank. It always looks better someplace else,” Saban said. “So you think, instead of facing your fear and overcoming adversity and making yourself better through competition, you go someplace else thinking it’ll be better there. Until you face your fear, you’re always going to have some of those issues and problems.”
Maybe there’s a kernel of truth in there for redshirt freshman Barnett. Taken out of his first game and replaced by his backup, the young quarterback still had plenty of time to regain his starting spot and some healthy competition might have been good for him.
That said, Saban isn’t exactly the bastion of sticktoitiveness he’s making himself out to be. You might have forgotten but Nick was the head coach of the NFL’s Miami Dolphins in 2005 after signing a five-year contract. Two year in, the Dolphins struggled to a 6-10 finish and Saban left to become the head coach at Alabama.
It’s worked out pretty well for him since and no one would say it was dumb idea, but the truth is that he walked away from an unfinished situation before he saw it through. In fact, the way he left fits the definition of quitting as far as we can tell.
After ten seasons, Saban has certainly earned the right to protect the Alabama program and look out for it’s best interests, but he should remember what he did in order to get there before he trashes someone else for doing what he did.