SANDESTIN — Alabama coach Nick Saban said he’s received apologies from both Florida coach Will Muschamp and athletic director Jeremy Foley for offensive line coach Tim Davis’ remark calling Saban “the devil himself” at a recent Gator Gathering in Melbourne.
“Yeah,” Saban said, when asked before the start of Tuesday’s SEC Spring Meetings if anyone from Florida has apologized to him. “Will and Jeremy — which I appreciated. I said right off the bat that this is not a reflection of the University of Florida, Will Muschamp or the program.
“Really, it’s nothing to get too upset about.”
Joking during his Gator Gathering speech to UF fans, Davis, who coached under Saban with the Miami Dolphins and at Alabama, said it was much easier working with Muschamp than “the devil himself.”
Davis isn’t the first coach in the SEC to compare Saban to the devil. Vanderbilt coach James Franklin referred to him as “Nick Satan” a year ago. He later apologized.
“I was disappointed because when guys work for you, you have feelings for them,” Saban said Tuesday. “You hope they don’t feel that way. If somebody did feel that way, I wish they’d tell me. I’m not trying to make anybody feel bad.
“When you’re in a position of leadership, sometimes you have to make people do things they don’t want to do for the betterment of the program and to get them to do their job the way they need to.
“I’m not directing that to anybody in particular. You may not like your boss when he tells you to do something you don’t want to do.”