Alabama may eventually have to face the music regarding former offensive lineman D.J. Fluker's involvement in college football's latest agent scandal.
The operative word here is "eventually."
Fluker, now with the San Diego Chargers, and four other Southeastern Conference players were named in an investigative report by Rand Getlin and Charles Robinson of Yahoo! Sports. The report states that Fluker and others received payments and benefits while in college and that former Crimson Tide defensive end Luther Davis acted as the channel between the athletes and NFL agents and financial advisers.
This could certainly impact Alabama down the road and could even result in the Tide losing their 2012 national title.
For now, though, the 2013 Crimson Tide have something more important to focus on: Saturday's looming rematch with Texas A&M.
Head coach Nick Saban made it clear Alabama is focusing on Texas A&M, not the Yahoo! Sports report, in the best way he knows possible.
During a post-practice press conference Wednesday, Saban began as usual, talking about his team and the week of preparation leading up to Alabama's trip to College Station.
He talked about focusing on things he and his team can control before he touched on the agent issue. After saying his piece on the Fluker situation, he was asked if it was a distraction heading into the weekend. As expected, Saban said he is focusing on his current players:
It hasn't been distracting for me because I don't even read about it. I'm focused on what we need to do to play a game. That's what's fair to our players, and that's what we owe our current players. This has not been a distraction for me. We have really good people who will manage this.
After he said all he wanted to say on the issue, the press continued to push him. The Alabama coach grabbed his bottle of Dasani and stormed off, sarcastically saying, "I appreciate your interest in the game."
Saban made it clear he is keeping his focus on Texas A&M and the most anticipated game of the college football season. And more than any other coach, Saban's teams tend to take on his personality.
For many teams against many opponents, this scandal would be a distraction and would ultimately lead to a loss—but not Saban's Tide.
Because of Saban's influence, Alabama will remained focused on exacting revenge on the team that ruined its perfect season in 2012.
In addition to the valuable revenge factor, the Tide will also be pressured to perform out of fear. They know Saban is already irate, and playing an uninspired game in College Station will only make it worse.
Saban often laments repeat championship talk and insists his team is a new team every year with new goals, no matter what the previous team did.
No matter what happened or will happen with the 2012 squad, the 2013 group has its own title to win.
Saturday's contest in College Station will have national title implications, and the Tide could also take a chunk out of Johnny Manziel's Heisman Trophy campaign.
When they walk onto Kyle Field, the Tide will be thinking about Manziel and the Aggies standing in front of them—not Fluker 1,400 miles away in San Diego.
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