Saban: Davis’s “devil” comment “disappointing”

By Adam Silverstein
May 17, 2013

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

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.”

He soon continued, laughingly referencing and juxtaposing Saban with Muschamp while coaxing repeated laughter from his audience.

“[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.


  1. VO2max says:

    “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.”

    Pretty funny Nick. I’m pretty sure the entire Dolphins coaching staff and front office during your tenure would laugh very loudly at that. And don’t forget the media that you treated like dirt.

  2. AAG says:

    Saban has the “Aw, shucks” routine down perfectly, doesn’t he? Davis was at a BOOSTER Gator Gathering. Saban thinks it “really is a little terribly disappointing”? That statement is barely coherent. Nicky has the red tide on top. Of course they’re a target and don’t forget Saban is the face of the program. He should expect folks to take unfair shots. It’s what he’s been working for–to be envied, to build hatred, etc.

  3. What?If says:

    Well if the truth be told , include Miles and Meyer and Kiffin, etc etc etc, they are all pitch fork carrying cardholders

  4. Ken (CA) says:

    Doesn’t anyone have a sense of humor anymore and everything have to be politically correct?

    It was clearly a joke and just poking fun at Saban’s serious demeanor vs. Muschamp’s over-exhuberent behavior. It wasn’t particularly funny, and not all jokes go over well, but it was clearly nothing said with any malice to a group of rabid Gator supporters.

  5. Michael Jones says:

    Well said, Ken (CA). And I’ll even up it one. Not only was Davis clearly joking around and playing to the Gator gathering, but I would also argue that his comments were ultimately intended to be complimentary. Saban is “the devil” in the sense that he is the ultimate adversary. He’s the proverbial “bad guy” only because he and his taskmaster ways and impeccable attention to detail in preparation have set a standard of excellence at Alabama and elsewhere. And that standard of excellence is primarily what is standing between our Gators and their ultimate goal of winning another national championship. DAVIS DIDN’T MEAN THAT YOU WERE ACTUALLY LUCIFER, NICK!! Good lord.

    I would also agree with AAG that “a little terribly disappointing” is hard to get my brain around. If it’s “a little,” then how can it also be “terribly?” And if it’s “terribly”. . ah, never mind. I’m starting to get confused.

    Finally, I also agree with AAG that Saban has the “Aw shucks” routine down pretty good. Poor little old football coaching Gomer Pyle. All he does is win national championships and get picked on unfairly. It’s kind of heartbreaking and I think I’m starting to tear up. Poor little old national championship winning country bumpkin that he is.

    LIGHTEN UP, OL’ LUCIFER!! Bahahahahahahaha. . . . . . and, as always,

    GO GATORS!!!

  6. Marlex says:

    Way for people (Saban especially) to blow a nothing story into whatever this has become. I said the headline over Saban’s response on the front page on ESPN. Really? Was it that slow a news day?

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