TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — With the start of spring practice less than a week away, Alabama head coach Nick Saban covered a litany of topics in Wednesday’s press conference, ranging from the possible starting quarterback to the Andre Smith NFL Combine situation.
He also took time to discuss a variety of non-football related content, namely the soon to be vacant head coaching position of the UA basketball team.
“I’m going to be supportive of them and what they do, and that’s my role,” Saban said. “I’m hopeful that we do choose somebody that, we can work well together. I would say that of any coach in the athletic department, of any sport.”
Ever since former Alabama coach Mark Gottfried resigned on January 26, Michigan State head coach Tom Izzo has been mentioned as a possible replacement specifically because of his relationship with Saban from their time spent together in East Lansing.
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While neither has publicly acknowledged the rumor, Saban has been thought be to be a key figure in the search for the next Crimson Tide basketball coach, a notion he dispelled Wednesday.
“I’m not going to be responsible for hiring a basketball coach,” Saban said. “There is nothing in my contract that says anything about that. I’m going to be as helpful as I can to whoever it is because we have good people here that are very capable of making a decision about who the good basketball coaches out there are, and who would be the best fit for our program in the future.”
Given the huge success the football team has seen under Saban’s watch, he was asked on Wednesday whether he would advise Athletics Director Mal Moore and Assistant Athletics Director Dave Hart in the search for the new coach. A question that brought with it a whole wealth of answers.
“Look, I want Alabama to be good at everything,” Saban said. “So I want to have a good basketball program. I want to have a good women’s volleyball program. I want the women’s gymnastics team to do great. I want everybody to do well, and I’ll help anybody recruit — golfers, it doesn’t matter what it is. I want us to be good in everything.”
“It’s not my philosophy that I want us to be good in football, and it doesn’t matter with everybody else. I think when you have good programs. There’s a lot of positive reinforcement out there from a media standpoint. It’s a lot of exposure for the university. And I think all those things are positive to what we’re trying to do, just like I’m hopeful that what we’re trying to do in our program can be positives for the other programs.”