DESTIN, Fla. (AP) - Alabama coach Nick Saban believes it's more than coincidence that reports accusing him of improper contact with recruits originated in Miami, where he spent two years with the NFL's Dolphins.
The Miami Herald and canesports-dot-com, a Miami Hurricanes fan site, described conversations with three south Florida junior prospects that might have exceeded NCAA rules limiting coaches to "exchange of a greeting" between April 15th and May 31st.
In his first public comment on the reports, Saban said yesterday at the Southeastern Conference spring meetings, that he has always respected the rules and will continue to do so.
When asked if the reports were false, Saban said it was "funny" that they came from Miami. He declined to comment further.
But Saban said spring recruiting trips can create "very awkward" situations for head coaches with people wanting pictures and autographs.
He was widely criticized for leaving the Dolphins after two years for a four-million-dollar-a-year deal at Alabama after saying he would not become the Crimson Tide's coach.
(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)