Alabama coach Nick Saban expects a certain level of behavior from his assistant coaches. And it’s not for everyone.
So after the initial shock of Saban’s decision to give offensive coordinator Lane Kiffin the boot just a week before playing in the national championship game, it should be rather easy to see that the writing was on the wall.
Saban said Monday that his decision to go to new Crimson Tide OC Steve Sarkisian in advance of the College Football Playoff title game against Clemson was because of “distractions” surrounding Kiffin as he prepares to become head coach at Florida Atlantic.
According to ESPN’s Brett McMurphy, sources are getting a little more specific about the things that were getting under five-time national championship coach Saban’s skin.
Here are the three incidents McMurphy cites:
- Kiffin being late to meetings
- Kiffin getting left behind by team bus at Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl media day
- Kiffin publicly commenting on Saban’s “ass chewings” during Peach Bowl media appearances
Late to meetings, getting left behind at media day, public “ass-chewing” comments contributed to Lane Kiffin’s exit, sources told @ESPN
— Brett McMurphy (@McMurphyESPN) January 2, 2017
That reporting seems to be in line with what FOX Sports’ Bruce Feldman tweeted about drama within the program, though Feldman did not offer specifics.
Not shocked Nick Saban has made this move now.. Heard there was LOTS of drama inside the #Alabama program with Lane Kiffin in the past week.
— Bruce Feldman (@BruceFeldmanCFB) January 2, 2017
Either way, it’s an amazing and unprecedented decision that will either add to the Saban lore following a victory, or open him to second-guessing if the Crimson Tide falls short against Clemson.
Alabama faces Clemson for the national championship on Jan. 9. Game time is 8 p.m. ET. TV: ESPN.