College Sports

Nick Saban talks Alabama QB ‘controversy,’ scheduling and what happened on the boat

Alabama head coach Nick Saban spoke during the Southeastern Conference Media Days on Wednesday in Atlanta.
Alabama head coach Nick Saban spoke during the Southeastern Conference Media Days on Wednesday in Atlanta. AP

Alabama’s Nick Saban took his turn at the podium Wednesday at the Southeastern Conference’s football Media Days, offering a bit of a testy exchange over his quarterback situation and some insight into his thoughts on scheduling and what really happened when his boat stalled on the water this summer.

Here are some highlights:

On who will be Alabama’s starting quarterback between junior Jalen Hurts and sophomore Tua Tagovailoa …

“I think the number one thing you’ll want to talk about is the quarterback controversy that you’d love to create, that you’ve already created, that you will continue to create, and I would just tell you the same thing exists there — it’s still to be determined as to who’s going to play quarterback for Alabama. So, you can ask all the questions about it, but it’s still to be determined. Aight? …

“Both guys have had great summers and we’re just going to have to see who wins the team in fall camp.

“So, we’ll see.”

On if Jalen Hurts still will be on the roster when the season starts ...

“I have no idea. I expect him to be there. I think it’s our job to give both players a very fair opportunity to have a chance to win the team at their position. I think that one of the two guys … , obviously, both are capable. We’ll create a role for one or both of those guys on our team, and they’ll all have to make a decision based on what that outcome is as to what their future is at Alabama.

“We certainly want every player on our team to stay at the University of Alabama and graduate. Jalen has a great opportunity to do that in December, so we are hopeful he will stay there and be a graduate regardless of his circumstances as a player. But that’s not to minimize his chances of being a starter or making a great contribution to our team in some way even if he isn’t the starter.”

On when he’ll retire …

“Miss Terry does not want me at home. I can tell you that. She doesn’t care if I’m 60, 70 or 80 — she’s looking for something for me to do. Now, I really enjoy what I’m doing right now, and as long as I’m healthy and I can do it, I’m going to continue to do it and not worry about any numbers or what my age is or anything like that.

“But I would not want to be in a position where I ever rode the program down because I wasn’t capable of making a contribution that would be positive to the success of the program. I’m going to continue to do this for as long as I feel like I can make a positive contribution and as long as I feel healthy enough to do it.

“Our noon-time basketball team was undefeated again this year, so that’s always an indicator to me that I can make it through another season.”

On scheduling …

“I’ve always been an advocate of playing all Power Five schools. I think we need to get more really, really good games on TV for the players. We can’t have fans who pay a lot of money for tickets and boxes and loges who support our programs to pay for games that no one is interested in watching.”

On the summer boat incident …

“Let me get the record straight here: We got a brand new boat, first time out in the boat, and the fuel pump went out. We did not run out of gas. Now, there’s been some benefit of people thinking we ran out of gas. I’ve got at least a hundred gas cans. I’ve got plenty of gas cans. If anybody needs one, let me know.”

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