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  Benedict Saban
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by Chris Shashaty, Phins.com Columnist

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Nick Saban is a fraud.


He is a liar.


He is a quitter.


He is a betrayer of trust.


I never, ever thought I would associate those words with Nick Saban.



Not Nick Saban.


Or, as we should now say, Benedict Saban.


That’s what you call Saban today and forever for quitting like he did on the Miami Dolphins, only two years into a five year deal, his work incomplete and his grand promises broken.


Yesterday, the Sun Sentinel gathered a list of Saban’s recent and most notorious quotes. As follows, and try not to get too nauseous:


On November 27, in response to a question as to whether he’d be contacted by Alabama and if he was interested: "No, I haven't. [I] don't care to be. [I] don't want to be. I've got a job to do here. My focus is on our players, this team, us getting better, us playing good winning football here. I'm not interested in any other circumstances or situations anyplace else. This is the challenge I wanted. I had a good college job, so why would I have left that if I was going to be interested in another college job?"


Nick, it’s called money…a reported $32 million, guaranteed, with other incentives.


Asked again on December 3: "I'm not going to continue to respond to rumors and innuendo, which this obviously is. I'm committed to a group of guys here and a football team and a football staff, and we're working hard to get this season right. It really challenges your professionalism and integrity to even talk about it. People throw it to the wall, see what sticks."


The crap seems to be sticking to Saban pretty good right now.


On December 7: “(Alabama) called (agent) Jimmy (Sexton]) and said, 'Is Nick interested?' and Jimmy said, 'No.' And Jimmy asked me on several occasions and I said, 'No, I'm interested in staying here. I'm flattered that they may have been interested in me, but it really never progressed because we never let it progress. It's ridiculous. I haven't even talked to anybody and all of a sudden somebody's coming here to interview me."


Nick, that’s what Alabama did by your invitation.


December 11: "I in no way wanted to indicate to him (Sports Illustrated's Peter King) or anybody else that there was any possibility of that (having interest in Alabama). I have no intentions of going anywhere. Hell, they might not want me here after this season."


Right on that last point, coach.


December 21: “I'm not going to be the Alabama coach.”


Again, all coaches lie. But what they lie about matters and their reputations, as such, consequently proceed them wherever they go. This means that, for the record, Nick Saban can no longer be considered the trustworthy person he was when he arrived in South Florida two years ago.


He lied to the media.


He lied to you, the fans.


He lied to Wayne Huizenga.


And, worst of all, he lied to his players when he told them he was staying.


To his players, Saban loved to espouse big words like “competitive character” and “overcoming adversity”. He papered the walls at Dolphin Camp with motivational messages like “Out of Yourself and Into the Team” and “Dolphin  Pride: Discipline, Commitment, Toughness, Effort, Pride”. He had a supersized picture of the Dolphins’ Super Bowl rings up in the corridor where he entered to go to work everyday, reminding everyone of the goal he left LSU to achieve.


All of it was a sham, hollow and empty. Because Saban was so good at delivering inspirational messages, the deceit reeks even more.


As such, Benedict Saban has become the most contemptible sports fraud in South Florida history.


Potential Alabama recruits, their current players, and supporters should be very wary of Saban’s overtures. They should believe nothing he says. If he can dupe NFL players, he can dupe them too.


You can’t help but feel badly for Wayne Huizenga. Here’s a guy who runs a first class franchise in every way possible. He trusted Saban with his beloved Dolphins, trusted him with delivering a championship, gave him everything he asked for and more.


Benedict Saban let him down. He betrayed him.


In his book, “How Good Do You Want to Be?”, Saban often recalls life lessons from his father as he makes points about working hard and doing things the right way in being successful.


Wonder what Saban’s father would say if he were here right now, watching his son leave a job undone like this?


Wonder what Saban’s father would say if he knew about the promises his son made and have now gone back on.


In a way, Huizenga should be glad to be rid of Saban. The last thing the Dolphins needed was a repeat of Jimmy Johnson’s last season in Miami, where a disinterested JJ simply went through the motions.


It’s time for the Miami Dolphins to move forward now but it won’t be easy. Because Saban left his work in Miami wholly undone, the team is in worse shape today than it was when he came to Miami two years ago.


Key players like Jason Taylor and Zach Thomas are older now and will have a tougher time making the switch to yet another coach, another system. Taylor, his back ailing him, may not want to subject himself to the hassle and instead opt to retire.


Few would blame him if he did.


The cupboard of quarterbacks is barer than ever. Yes, Daunte Culpepper could still work out but, as Saban himself noted just this past Monday, his availability remains uncertain.


Big contracts to offensive playmaking failures like Chris Chambers and Randy McMichael burden the salary cap more than ever. In the end, Saban’s teams failed to create any of the explosive offensive playmaking, or the winning, he promised.


His final record as Dolphin coach was 15-17. That’s the sum of what all the fanfare and hype brought the Dolphins. That’s what the rest of the NFL is laughing at right now.


As head coach of the Miami Dolphins, Nick Saban was a failure. He leaves in disgrace, the worst coach in team history.


Let’s hope the next head coach of the Miami Dolphins is a man with genuine integrity and commitment, a man of strong football acumen, a coach all Dolfans can truly be proud of.



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