Two days after Florida Gators offensive line coach Tim Davis jokingly referred to Alabama’s Nick Saban as “the devil himself” during a Gator Gathering with boosters in Melbourne, FL, the four-time national championship-winning head coach responded.
“It really is a little terribly disappointing,” said Saban, according to AL.com.
Davis on Tuesday was discussing how pleased he was to be working for Florida head coach Will Muschamp when he decided to make light of the differences between Muschamp and Saban in order to entertain the crowd.
“Will and I go back to the Miami Dolphins,” Davis began. “I’ve always wanted to work with Will. Will’s got a plan. Will coached under the devil himself for seven years. I only did three. He did seven. And his DNA is not any different than Nick.”
“[Muschamp’s] like the other guy, only he’s got a personality,” Davis added. “He’ll smile at you. He’ll talk to you. You understand? That’s what he’s all about. That’s Will. I’m proud to work for him.”
Like many members of the media – notably ESPN’s Mark May, who referred to Davis as “a classless backstabbing coward” despite noting the two had never even met – Saban did not find Davis’s words the least bit comical.
“I try to do right by the people that work for me. It’s a tough, demanding job. And at the same time, if anybody ever had an issue or problem with me, I would want them to just tell me,” he said dejectedly.
“It’s just disappointing. I think if somebody has a problem with me, I’d appreciate it if they tell me because if I’m doing something that offends somebody, I’d certainly like to do whatever I have to do to fix it. That’s not our intention. That’s not what we try to do. We’re in a very tough business. It’s very competitive. Sometimes you got to demand that people do things that maybe they don’t want to do, but it’s not personal.”
While Saban made his obvious disappointment with Davis clear, he was sure to exclude Muschamp and the football program from his scorn.
“I know it’s not representative of Will Muschamp and the University of Florida and the way they do things. I know that because I’m close enough to Will to know that,” he added.
Muschamp worked under Saban for five seasons as a linebackers coach defensive coordinator at LSU (2001-04) and with Miami (2005). Davis spent three years with Saban as an offensive line assistant with the Dolphins (2005-06) and as director of player personnel for Alabama in 2008.