After the sour grapes e-mails of Marc Guillon, news of former QB Jimmy Barnes's father claiming it was Saban's treatment of his son that caused him to leave will probably fall on deaf ears.
While it's certainly possible that Barnes, who was recruited by Mike Shula, decided to leave the team because he couldn't handle Saban's far more agressive coaching style, there are just too many discrepancies for me to take Mr. Barnes seriously.
- When informed by Barnes that he was leaving the team, Saban was told he wanted to transfer to a D-1AA school, not that he was upset with Saban.
- Both sides agree that Saban told Barnes he wanted him to stay (despite the fact he would probably never fit the new offense and this team needs scholarships).
- The other players don't seem to have a problem with the Saban treatment:
"One thing he (Saban) is really big about is treating people with respect," Gilberry said. Quarterback John Parker Wilson added that "respect is a big issue around here."
Seems to me that this is either the defensive posturing of a highly touted recruit's father who didn't like that his son is having to transfer to a D-1AA school to play, or Barnes was too embarassed to tell his parents "I'll never start here" and played up the "I don't like the coaches" excuse as the reason he wanted to transfer.
While this is probably going to elicit no more than a shrug from most Bama fans, who else thinks this is going to get some big play in the press?