Nick Saban is not joining the biggest conversation around college athletics of late.
That conversation surrounds SB 206, the piece of legislation recently signed Governor of California Gavin Newsom, which would prohibit the NCAA from keeping collegiate athletes from profiting off of their name, image and likeness.
The law is not set to go into action until 2023; several states around the country, nearing a dozen, have similar bills in the works in their respective legislative bodies. Alabama is not one of them.
Saban was not interested in addressing the subject.
“I don’t really have much of a reaction to it. I really don’t know enough about the details,” Saban said on the SEC teleconference. “I don’t know the details of what the NCAA and the leadership will do in our conference, at the university and the SEC office. I trust that these people will navigate through this like other issues and things that we’ve had in the past. I’m kind of worried about our team and how we get our team ready to play and all that. I’m not really that concerned about it or know that much about it, actually.
“It’s a hypothetical question, which I have enough questions to answer on a daily basis that are real things that need to be addressed right now relative to our season, our team, what we’re trying to do to get better. I haven’t really thought about that, nor do I care to comment on it.”
Not interested in No. 1
None of the top five teams in the previous AP Poll lost last week, but there was still a change.
After Clemson struggled to beat North Carolina 21-20, while UA beat Ole Miss 59-31, the AP Poll and coaches poll both switched Alabama and Clemson, moving the Crimson Tide to No. 1 and the Tigers down to No. 2. Saban would prefer his team ignore its new standing.
“I don’t think it really matters at all where you’re ranked or rated right now, it only matters when it’s January, when the season’s over. That’s all that matters,” Saban said. “It can slip away very quickly, and as it did this last week, it wasn’t even because the team didn’t win. It must’ve been somebody’s perception of how they played. So it’s not even about winning, it’s about how you play.
“Where you’re ranked shouldn’t matter and what somebody says on the Internet shouldn’t matter. You should be playing because you want to get the self-satisfaction that you know you did your best to be the best you can be. Hopefully that’s what we can get our players to focus on. Sometimes we’ve succeeded at that and sometimes we haven’t.”
Starting nose guard D.J. Dale was not with the defensive linemen in position drills, making two consecutive days of no Dale sighting in the media viewing period.
“He practiced one day, and then we didn’t practice him today,” Saban said. “He’ll probably practice again tomorrow or maybe Friday. We’re kind of doing that with several of our guys this week.”
Dale suffered a minor knee injury earlier this season, but started against Ole Miss and recorded two tackles, 1/2 for a loss.
Wide receiver Henry Ruggs III was once again fully dressed for practice but not participating in position drills. Saban said the hip pointer he suffered against Ole Miss would keep him sore for a few days, but is unlikely to keep him out for the Texas A&M game on Oct. 12.
Kicker Will Reichard continues to recover from his pulled hip flexor.
“We’re kind of holding him out this week until Monday,” Saban said. “We think he should be ready for next game but these things are all day-to-day and nobody can predict exactly how these things are going to heal up. We’ll find out on Monday.”
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