If you have sensed some awkwardness in Nick Saban’s relationship with former right-hand man Kirby Smart this week, we may now know the reason. From Aaron Suttles:
The Tuscaloosa News learned that on his way out the door, Smart took a picture of Alabama’s recruiting board, which hangs in the inner sanctum of the Alabama football building, and showed it to recruits who weren’t necessarily at the top of that board. His message was simple: Alabama doesn’t want you as much as it says it does.
Multiple people close to the Alabama program told The Tuscaloosa News that same story, but none wanted to go on record about it.
There is nothing wrong whatsoever with Kirby recruiting uncommitted players to Georgia after leaving, but taking a snapshot of the recruiting board that he had a hand in assembling and using it to make players feel unwanted at Alabama is a middle finger to his old boss, and just flat wrong. Ranking players by position and priority is an integral part of the evaluation process, and Kirby undoubtedly has something similar at Georgia. Smart also allegedly said to then-prospect Tyler Simmons while still employed at Alabama, “If I get a head coaching job somewhere else, I’m coming for you.”
Assuming these reports are true, Kirby is an underhanded, back-stabbing hypocrite. Alabama fans have no reason to wish him anything but the worst from this point forward.