Daddy Don hits the nail on the head

Published 12:00 am Thursday, December 28, 2006

During Monday night's broadcast of the Monday Night Football game between the Miami Dolphins and the New York Jets, ESPN reporter Michele Tafoya conducted an interview on the sideline with legendary coach Don Shula and wasted no time getting to the point.

Shula, who serves as the Vice-Chairman on the Dolphins' Board of Directors, was extremely candid during the interview and held nothing back when Tafoya opened the interview by asking Shula what he felt about the University of Alabama after the Crimson Tide fired his son after four seasons and now appear to be going after his head coach, Nick Saban.

&#8220It's sad,” Shula said bluntly about the state of Crimson Tide football.

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Shula questioned the administration's decision to fire his son Mike after going 6-6 this season just a year after the Tide won 10 games, including the Cotton Bowl on New Year's Day.

And the senior Shula knows a little bit about coaching.

Shula is the all-time winningest coach in the National Football League's history and directed the only perfect season in the NFL when his 1972 Dolphins team finished with a flawless record and a Super Bowl victory.

Shula went on to say that it is time for those people making the decisions at Alabama to be held accountable for their actions.

What Shula failed to mention was his son's record at Alabama against opponents the Tide must beat to be competitive in the SEC.

What Shula failed to mention is his son never beat Auburn or LSU and only beat Arkansas and Tennessee each once.

Ten wins during one year may sound nice coming from the mouth of one of the greatest coaches ever, but a 26-23 overall record is not something that sounds good…ever.

On the subject of Saban, Shula went on to say that he understands that today's coaching environment is an atmosphere of speculation and he felt that Saban has bluntly stated his intentions to remain with Miami.

He added that Saban was hired to do a job and that job is not finished.

While Shula's description of his son's mishandle firing was a cheap shot, he was not able to entirely shoot down the notion that Saban could leave for The Capstone.

The Alabama higher-ups have made no moves since Rich Rodriguez left them out in the cold and appear to be waiting for the Dolphins' season to end to make a formal offer to Saban.

However, if the Tide administration has waited this long without interviewing any other candidates and Saban doesn't take the job, the future of Alabama football could be just what Shula said it was:


Austin Phillips is The Greenville Advocate sports editor.

You can contact him by e-mailing or by calling 382-3111 ext. 122.