Charlie’s Quick Hits

Saban Claims No Contact With Texas

Alabama head coach Nick Saban was a wanted man during the offseason.  Teams rumored to be interested in Saban stretched from the Cleveland Browns all the way to the University of Texas Longhorns.

As we know, Saban strong-armed, err leveraged Alabama into yet another raise and contract extension and managed to do it all while riding a two-game losing streak.

According to Paul Finebaum and Gene Wojchiechowski, who penned the book, “Why My Conference Can Beat Your Conference,” Texas was willing to make Saban the highest paid coach ever – in any sport.

“Texas was dead serious about trying to money-whip Saban,” Finebaum and Wojchiechowski wrote. “Depending on whom you talk to — Bama big hitters or Texas big hitters — the Longhorns were prepared to give Saban somewhere between a $12 and $15 million signing bonus and a salary package worth $100 million (plus performances).”

Pretty good money for a guy who never talked or showed any interest in the job, right?

Saban is sticking to his story.

“I had no conversations with Texas and wasn’t offered anything,” Saban said, according to FOXSports.com. “And if I had no conversations with Texas then I didn’t have any interest … We’re happy at Alabama.”

I guess Alabama didn’t really need to give Nick all that extra money then.

Our take:  A general rule of thumb to keep in mind is that the only time major college football head coaches are lying are when their lips are moving.  Perhaps Saban didn’t directly meet with any Texas reps but i’d be willing to wager that his agent did.  Only Saban can segue a two-game losing streak to end a season into a huge pay raise.

A & M Opened Up Their Checkbooks For Ogbuehi

We all know paying players directly or players receiving any additional benefits directly violates NCAA rules, and the schools and players are subject to a sentence so punitive, both player and school will rue the day said improper benefits were accepted.

Most of the time….sometimes….okay, but only if it’s USC.

According to Bruce Feldman of Fox Sports, Texas A & M found one of the numerous loopholes in the NCAA rulebook and were able to spend roughly $50,000 to keep star offensive tackle Cedric Ogbuehi in school.

Apparently the 6-foot-5, 300 pound Ogbuehi head back from the NFL Draft Advisory Committee earlier this year and learned he would likely become a first-round pick.  Although Ogbuehi knew that another year of seasoning in College Station would help him, he had to look at his financial situation.

Ogbuehi qualified for an insurance policy that would pay him if he suffered some sort of injury that would cause him to drop out of the first round of the draft, similar to what former USC wide receiver Marqise Lee had (which will likely pay him $5 million).  Unfortunately for the Aggies starting tackle, neither he nor his family had the funds to secure such a policy.

Texas A & M to the rescue.

A & M drew from a Student Assistance Fund which helped secure the policy for Ogbuehi and thus the Aggies had their talented offensive tackle back for his senior season.

“This really helped with my decision, Ogbuehi said of the insurance policy. “It opened up a lot of doors to staying.

“It’s a great re-assurance knowing that coming back for one more season is not as big of a risk-reward — just more of a reward hopefully next year.”

Our take:  Don’t hate the player, hate the game.  A & M exploited an actual rule and the result is a great player staying in school another year.  I can’t see how there are any losers in this.