Saban Dealing with Media Criticism

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MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) - Coach Nick Saban's honeymoon with the media didn't last very long at Alabama.

Yet to take the field for anything but a practice with the Crimson Tide, Saban has found himself on the defensive lately.

The four (m) million-dollar--a-year coach is dealing with critical columns, radio talk shows and reporters' questions about restrictions imposed on the media since his arrival.

Saban said he's not doing anything differently from previous coaching stops -- or from other college coaches.

But the Saban Way is somewhat different for Tuscaloosa. Saban has allowed only limited access to players and assistant coaches, alternating days when he and Tide players are available to the media. Assistant coaches generally don't speak publicly.

Saban also closed last Friday's scrimmage at Bryant-Denny Stadium, while such events typically were open to the media under his predecessors at Alabama.

Allowing the media to attend only a few minutes of practice sessions, however, is a carryover from former Bama coaches including Mike Shula, who was fired to make way for Saban.

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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