New Alabama AD hire not Saban's decision

Mal Moore and Nick Saban

Nick Saban made it clear Wednesday that he will not be heavily involved in deciding who will replace Mal Moore as Alabama's new athletics director.

Nick Saban hasn't thought about being an athletics director.

At least that's what he said in a press conference Wednesday afternoon after Alabama announced that Mal Moore would be stepping down as athletics director due to health problems.

Moore, 73, has been in the hospital since March 11 due to a serious pulmonary condition. He is currently being taken care of at Duke University Medical Center.

Alabama said in a statement that it wants to name Moore's successor "as quickly as possible."

Knowing that he'd get questions regarding such a hire, Saban made sure reporters understood that he will not have a major role in deciding Alabama's next AD.

"I'm going to tell you that's not my decision," he said. "We have really, really good people here, chancellors, presidents, other people in the athletic department, people on the board, who I have every faith, trust and confidence will make an outstanding decision as for what's best for the University of Alabama."

But Saban obviously knows a lot of people so it wouldn't be farfetched to think that he would be heavily involved in this decision. But he insisted Wednesday that he will not be.

"My part of it will be do everything I can to make it work with whomever that individual is," he said. "So don't ask me, because that's all I'm going to say about it because I don't know anything about it."

"I'm not going to call the chancellor and ask him what call to make on third down. Or the president."

One name that's floated around already as a replacement is Baltimore Ravens general manager Ozzie Newsome. Newsome, who played for legendary coach Paul "Bear" Bryant at Alabama and still supports the Crimson Tide, has a close relationship to Saban. But according to The Baltimore Sun, he is staying with the Ravens.

What about Saban? Would he ever consider being an athletics director someday?

"I've never really thought much about it," he said. "I certainly wouldn't want to try to do it and be a coach. So that's not something that I would even entertain to do … I'm really not that concerned about the future other than what we need to continue to do to have a successful program. So I haven't really thought much about it.

"I don't think that I would every be happy if I wasn't doing something. And I know Miss Terry would not be happy if I wasn't doing something—because I'd drive her nuts in a week."

Saban also took a chunk of time Wednesday to reflect how Moore's role in recruiting him to leave the Miami Dolphins and come to Alabama.

"The first thing he did was he recruited Terry," Saban said, smiling. "I've told the story before that I wasn't even going to talk to him. I called Terry and said, ‘I don't think I'm even going to talk to these guys tonight.' She said, ‘Oh, Mal's already here. We've been talking for an hour.'

"That was his first step in the right direction."

Saban continued on about always having "special respect" for Moore, even when he was coaching at LSU.

"Mal has really become a good friend and somebody that I have a tremendous amount of respect for," he said. "I'm happy for him. I'll be most happy for him if he can get healthy and be around here with us. But I'm gonna miss him."


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