Nick Saban: Football isn’t any more demanding than when I played

Nick Saban: Football isn’t any more demanding than when I played

The topic of college football players’ work load has been hot the last few days. UCLA quarterback Josh Rosen’s interview with Bleacher Report pushed it back into the conversation.

Picking a difficult major and playing high-end college football is practically impossible, he said. He compared it to having two full-time jobs.

Nick Saban on Thursday was asked about that viewpoint and he countered with one of his own.

“I don’t know that it’s changed a whole lot,” Saban said. “We used to have two-a-days every day. We don’t have two-a-days anymore. We don’t spend any more time in fall camp than when I played as a player (at Kent State 1970-72). We don’t practice any longer through the course of the week.”

Saban cited statistics of players who players who got their degrees before finishing their playing careers.

“That means a lot of guys — even though football might be difficult, nobody is saying it isn’t. Nobody’s saying school is not very difficult. Nobody is saying that getting a college education isn’t very difficult — but for a lot of those guys, being good football players is what created the opportunity for them to make a tremendous investment in their future by graduating from school.”

That, Saban said, is a good thing.

“Is it difficult? Probably,” he said. “Was it difficult for me? Absolutely. So, I don’t think it’s ever been more difficult. It’s just never been easy. But I do think the reward of it all — the lessons that are learned being part of a team, the lessons being a competitor in an environment like this or any college football program … the lessons that you learn in life. I mean, how valuable can those things be?”

College football programs can’t require more than 20 hours of sports-related activities when school is in session. Classes don’t begin until Aug. 23 in Tuscaloosa.

Again, Saban circled back to the graduation rates. It currently has 12 players who already earned undergraduate degrees.

“It is an opportunity but with the opportunity comes a burden,” Saban said. “The burden is not necessarily easy. So, I get that. You do it for your tea

mmates and you do it for your future and your opportunity to be successful.”

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Published at Thu, 10 Aug 2017 22:41:17 +0000