PHOENIX -- During their final news conference before Monday's national championship game, Alabama coach Nick Saban mostly watched as the majority of the questions were directed toward Clemson coach Dabo Swinney.
But following a question to Swinney about Clemson's draft eligible junior, Saban wanted to jump in.
"Could I make a comment about that?" Saban said. "Because I'm going to call Dabo after the game, and last year after our game against Ohio State, I tried to develop a little energy from college coaches who had players that are in this situation that you just asked him about, and the NFL moved the draft back. I wish they'd move the declare date back."
From there, Saban continued to stick with his stance on the process for how players declare for the draft and when they receive grades from the NFL Advisory Board.
As it stands, the deadline for players to declare for the draft is Jan. 18. Saban initially spoke out about the draft process during SEC Media Days in July.
"I wish they'd make a rule that says you can't even give a player what his draft status is from the NFL playoff committee until they've finished their competition as a college player, so that you don't put them and their family in this situation where there's a big timing issue relative to competition," Saban said.
Saban made it clear his point was strictly about teams who still have games left.
"If you finished your season on December 6th, you can make a decision," Saban said. "If you're finishing it on January 11th, then you get the information after that, but you have a significant amount of time to make that decision when you finish playing so you can stay focused on what you need to do to play well, because it benefits all these players to play well in the game."
In response to the initial question, Swinney said he already knew what his juniors would do. He said his players were focused on the game, but added that he doesn't like "the timing of all that stuff."
After Saban made his point, Swinney agreed with Saban calling the process a "distraction."
"There's no doubt, it's a distraction that all of us have to deal with," Swinney said. "Obviously it's just two of us left at this point. You get the grades, and some guys, they didn't get the grade that they want, so they're pouting a little bit, and got to pick themselves up. Then you get the guy that gets the grade he wants, so it's just - I echo that 100 percent. It really should be when the season is over, whenever that is, and they should hold those things. But that's the system we're dealing with right now."
Contact Anniston Star Sports Writer Marq Burnett at email@example.com. On Twitter:@Marq_Burnett.