Out of Bounds to Call Nick Saban 'The Devil Himself?' Not for Florida Assistant

Barrett Sallee@BarrettSalleeSEC Football Lead WriterMay 15, 2013

Florida's coaching staff found plenty of live microphones on Tuesday, causing quite a stir in the process.

While head coach Will Muschamp was in Jacksonville, Fla. calling out the Georgia Bulldogs, offensive line coach Tim Davis was about 175 miles south in Melbourne taking aim at the SEC's most successful active coach—Alabama's Nick Saban.

Davis, who was speaking to the Space Coast Gator Club, took several shots at Saban, including making jokes about the fact that his last name is similar to "satan" (via: GatorBait.net).

Will [Muschamp] and I go back to the Miami Dolphins. I've always wanted to work with Will. Will's got a plan. Will coached under the devil himself for seven years. I only did three. He did seven. And his DNA is not any different than Nick.

Davis worked with Saban from 2005-06 with the Miami Dolphins, and he was on Alabama's staff in an off-the-field capacity as director of player personnel in 2008.

Mark May apparently didn't like the joke judging from his quote on ESPN's College Football Live on Wednesday afternoon (via: @CoachingSearch):

Mark May on Florida o-line coach Tim Davis: "As far as I'm concerned, he's a backstabbing coward."(Simmer down, Mark.)

— Pete Roussel (@coachingsearch) May 15, 2013

This isn't new.

Vanderbilt head coach James Franklin made waves in January when he called Saban "Nicky Satan" in a banquet at Central High School in Macon, Ga.

Out of bounds?

Clearly it's not for Davis and Franklin. While the joke is probably factually inaccurate—after all, there's nothing to suggest that Saban is, in fact, the devil—it is still just a joke on his name. Nothing more and nothing less.

In fact, it's a compliment to Saban that other coaches within the conference take shots at him. The level of success he has reached at Alabama—building a modern-day dynasty with three titles in four years—is obviously a goal of every program. When you're on the pedestal, people are going to try to knock you down.

He went on to compare the coaching styles of the two coaches, saying that Muschamp is a little more personable than Saban.

"[Muschamp's] like the other guy, only he's got a personality. He'll smile at you. He'll talk to you. You understand? That's what he's all about. That's Will. I'm proud to work for him."

While joking that Saban is "the devil himself" will raise eyebrows, the quote above has a little more substance. 

It speaks to the different personalities of the two head coaches, and it gives insight into the day-to-day working environments at both programs.

According to the New York Times, Saban keeps his assistant coaches away from the media except during games that mandate appearances—such as the BCS National Championship Game. Muschamp lets his assistants speak to the media quite often during the season.

Is that a knock against Saban?

Not necessarily. After all, winning is the ultimate goal, and Saban has seemingly perfected that winning formula.



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