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Where Is Nick Saban?

College Football needs his leadership now more than ever.

Nick Saban Bat Signal.

For almost two decades, Alabama coach Nick Saban has been the conscience of college football. He once quipped “is this what we want football to be?” The quote originated from an SEC teleconference back in 2012 regarding the up-tempo, no-huddle offenses. But it has become a meme of sorts that represent every radical swing this sport has taken in the last decade or so. Saban has time and again warned against all the rash movements that have changed the innocence of FBS football while often being the sole voice of reason. So much so, that many people have opined that he should become the yet-to-be-created “College Football Commissioner”. Even Saban himself has long seen a need for the creation of such a position.

Speaking at the Southeastern Conference annual meetings back in 2016, Saban said satellite camps such as those that had been initiated/loopholed by Jim Harbaugh, were “bad for college football.” The former Crimson Tide coach added “there needs to be somebody that looks out for what’s best for the game, not what’s best for the Big Ten or what’s best for the SEC or what’s best for Jim Harbaugh, but what’s best for the game of college football - the integrity of the game, the coaches, the players and the people that play it. That’s bigger than all of this.”

Nick Saban has always been ahead of the curve and is often the lone voice crying out in the wilderness. But nobody wants listen. Now, he has an opportunity to have his voice heard and abided to.

On Friday, it was announced that the SEC and Big Ten had formed “a joint advisory group of university presidents, chancellors, and ADs to address significant challenges facing college athletics and opportunities for the betterment of the student-athlete experience.” Many point to this move as the beginning of the end of the NCAA overseeing what is now called Division I Football Bowl Subdivision and a formation of a new governing body. It seems like the number one person on the list of invitees should have been the greatest sports coach of all time.

The lawlessness of NIL/pay-for-play has gotten out of hand. The transfer rules are a disaster. The NCAA power is waning away at such an alarming rate that university presidents are defiantly and arrogantly attacking them with denial, excuses, and pushing the blame back on the NCAA. Nobody is afraid of the NCAA anymore. Surely Saban has some ideas how to fix these problems.

So, where is Nick Saban now that college football needs him the most? He can only play so many rounds of golf.