Nick Saban Is a Class Act Regardless of What the Critics Say

Jonathan KelleyCorrespondent ISeptember 14, 2010

NEW YORK - DECEMBER 12: Running back Mark Ingram (R) #22 of the Alabama Crimson Tide poses with Head coach Nick Saban (L) and the Heisman Trophy during a press conference after being named the 75th Heisman Trophy winner at the Marriott Marquis on December 12, 2009 in New York City.  (Photo by Chris Trotman/Getty Images)
Chris Trotman/Getty Images

There are some media members in this country who like to make Alabama coach Nick Saban out to be a snake in the grass.

They constantly belittle the coach for his track record of leaving teams in search of a better job.

They publicly scorn him for the events that led to him taking a job at the University of Alabama.

In some media members' eyes, no matter what Coach Saban says or does, he will always be a bad guy.

The Tosh 2.0's and Michael Wilbons of the world are nothing more than hypocrites who allow their self-righteousness to skew their view of the facts.

The facts regarding Coach Saban's career are just what they are: a man leaving a job for a better job opportunity. There is not a competitive or ambitious person in this country that would not leave the job he or she has for one with more money, promise, opportunity, and resources.

Leaders are always looking for the opportunity to lead. In the Army, no one judges a leader on what his next position is; a leader is judged on the job he did while he was there.

Every school that Nick Saban coached at was better because of him. LSU was a joke in the SEC before Saban's arrival, and now it is a perennial national power. Michigan State has consistently been better than it was before Saban's tenure.

The Miami Dolphins head coaching job was a mistake. It was a situation in which a man and his family realized that this was not the life they wanted. People who want to fault a man for wanting to get out of a miserable situation for him and his family probably are not family men.

No one holds hatred towards Michael Jordan wanting to pursue his dream of baseball and failing. For all purposes no one considers Jordan a traitor or evil because he left baseball unsuccessful to go back to a sport he dominated.

The reasons for hating and despising Nick Saban are foolish and selfish.

The reasons for respecting him are admirable.

Nick's Kids is a charity that enables children to enjoy and experience things that they would normally never be able to do. It is a charity that embodies faith, hope, love, and community.

Everyone criticizes his huge salary, but to date he has donated over $3 million publicly to varies charities and the University of Alabama. That is roughly 10 percent of his gross income.

However honorable his actions off the field may be, it is his actions on the field that have lead to the writing of this article.

This Saturday in Alabama, Nick Saban showed true class and was the embodiment of sportsmanship when he called off the dogs at the end of the Penn State game. Alabama could have very easily put up at least one more score on an outmanned Joe Paterno team, but Saban said enough.

How many times have we seen a Pete Carroll, Urban Meyer, Mack Brown, or even a Les Miles run up the score on an opponent? These coaches and countless others consistently run up the score long after the game has been decided, yet they hardly ever receive criticism for it.

Saturday was not the first time Saban has displayed this kind of sportsmanship; in fact, it is usually the norm. There are countless examples where a Saban-coached team has shown mercy to an inferior opponent. Last year's SEC championship is a prime example.

For most Nick Saban will always be Nick Satan, but that is nothing more than jealousy and selfishness overriding good judgment. The truth is Saban is an imperfect man who is going to make mistakes like any other man. Just remember that it is not the mistakes people make that define them, but the way they either fall or overcome those mistakes.