Nick Saban Addresses Retirement Rumors, Noticeably Doesn’t Say One Critical Thing

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Nick Saban addressed retirement rumors, and it’s what he didn’t say that’s much more interesting than what he did.

It was recently announced the Alabama coach would do a weekly spot on “The Pat McAfee Show” during the season, and that led to some wondering whether or not he was testing the TV waters. After all, he reportedly took a hard look at joining ESPN about a decade ago.

The retirement rumors then shot through the roof after the Crimson Tide lost to Texas and he made comments that appeared weirdly heartfelt and reflective after the game.

“It’s a privilege to play in games like this. It’s a privilege to play at the University of Alabama. It’s a privilege to play where you have such great tradition, and it’s a privilege to play where you have such great fan support. We really appreciate it,” the Alabama coach said after the tough loss to the Longhorns.

Nick Saban says a lot without saying much about retirement rumors.

Saban appeared on “The Pat McAfee Show” for his weekly hit Thursday, and the pair discussed the “laughable” rumors spreading about the Alabama coach.

“When’s the first time you heard I was going to retire? That started about five years ago and I think it creates some advantages for some people. Whether it’s in recruiting or whatever it might be. I love what I’m doing. I’m focused on the challenge. I’ve always said I don’t want to ride the program down. I don’t want to do this if I can’t do it anymore. I feel great right now. I love it. We have a lot of challenges this season. I’m looking forward to it and we’re all in,” Saban said when reacting to the rumors.

You can watch his full comments below.

Saban reacts to retirement rumors.

Notice what he didn’t say? He didn’t say the rumors are completely false, not true and should be ignored. He came close to the line, but didn’t cross it. Read into that as much as you want.

In my opinion, it’s certainly interesting Nick Saban chose to not come out and just directly state, “No, I’m not considering retiring. That’s crazy.”

Instead, he threw himself a bit of a hedge when he noted, “I’ve always said I don’t want to ride the program down. I don’t want to do this if I can’t do it anymore.”

What does that exactly mean, Nick? If the Crimson Tide go 9-3, will that be seen as riding the program down? What’s the threshold?

Nick Saban addresses retirement rumors. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Now, do I think Nick Saban will retire? I don’t have a clue, and anyone who says they do is likely lying. All I’m doing is putting on my detective cap, looking at the clues and making some observations. His comments to McAfee on the surface might seem like a denial, but the more you read into them, the things that really stand out are what he didn’t say. Give us your predictions in the comments below.

Written by David Hookstead

David Hookstead is a reporter for OutKick covering a variety of topics with a focus on football and culture.

He also hosts of the podcast American Joyride that is accessible on Outkick where he interviews American heroes and outlines their unique stories. Before joining OutKick, Hookstead worked for the Daily Caller for seven years covering similar topics.

Hookstead is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin.

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