Amari Cooper Not Really Following The News

Nick Saban

One of the biggest “news” itesm floating around Southeastern Conference Media Days was the report that Texas had been prepared to offer Nick Saban a $10 million contract. The big news in college athletics nationally has been the upcoming playoff, the NCAA being sued, and the possibility of paying players.

One of the things that Alabama Coach Nick Saban put to rest (again) when he addressed reporters at SEC Media Days was that he was not offered the job at Texas at the end of last season and that he had no interest in it. He also reaffirmed his expectation that he would finish his storied coaching career in Tuscaloosa.

Not only did he say he was not offered the job, he said he never had a conversation with anyone from Texas about it. To be fair, the report that surfaced this week did not say he had been offered that contract, only that Texas (or Texas boosters) had been “prepared” to make that offer. And also to be fair, Saban has an agent, and any offer would have gone to the agent, not directly to Saban.

Alabama wide receiver Amari Cooper was asked if the Crimson Tide players had been concerned that Saban might go to Texas.

“We definitely knew about [the rumor],” Cooper said. “He had a meeting with us saying he wouldn’t leave.”

When was that?

“I don’t remember. I think it was during the (2013) season.”

Cooper was also asked if he thought Saban would finish his coaching career at Alabama.

“I don’t know what he will do,” Cooper said. “I hope he does.”

There have been big news items related to college football and college athletes. Chief among them have been the Ed O’Bannon antitrust lawsuit against the NCAA seeking payment to college athletes when their likenesses are used by colleges to bring in revenue; the upcoming College Football Playoff; and the proposal that college football and men’s basketball players be given additional scholarship help in the form of payments.

Cooper did not seem overly concerned about any of them.

Regarding the playof system that goes into place at the end of this season, Cooper said that players did not talk about it.

“Personally, I don’t talk about it,” he said. “At the end of the day, it’s the same thing. You have to win. You have to win and win to win the national championship.”

As for the O’Bannon suit, he needed clarification.

“You mean like for jerseys?” he said.

“I don’t think it’s ever a bad idea for people to get paid for what they do,” Cooper said.I” think everyone wants that. I don’t think it’s a bad idea. I think it’s a good idea that players want to get paid.”

What about cost-of-attendance scholarships?

“Excuse me?” Increasing the isze of scholarships to cover the full cost of attendance.

“I haven’t heard anything about that.”

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