Nick Saban created a bit of a controversy at Alabama this week when the Crimson Tide brought in fired Maryland head coach D.J. Durkin.
Durkin was reportedly brought in for a consulting role ahead of the College Football Playoff, though Saban clarified things on Friday night.
“DJ Durkin is spending a few days with our staff in Tuscaloosa from a professional development standpoint. He has not been hired in any capacity at (Alabama). He is simply observing our operation as many other coaches have done through the years,” Saban announced.
Nick Saban statement: “DJ Durkin is spending a few days with our staff in Tuscaloosa from a professional development standpoint. He has not been hired in any capacity at (Alabama). He is simply observing our operation as many other coaches have done through the years.”
— Pete Thamel (@PeteThamel) December 15, 2018
SEC Network host Peter Burns believes Durkin was brought in because he shares an agent with Saban.
“I don’t know so much of it is what DJ Durkin can provide other than what Alabama provides for him and more importantly his agent Jimmy Sexton,” Burns said. “Sexton is like the Wizard of Oz and he is the puppet master of college football. I go back and look and it’s DJ Durkin, Hugh Freeze, Butch Jones, Lane Kiffin, Steve Sarkisian … what do all of these guys have in common? They’re all repped by the same guy,” Burns said.
“Nick Saban has become kind of that halfway house. (You can be an assistant) or you come by and grab a cup of coffee in the lobby and you’re seen at the halfway house. Honestly, that’s what it was. DJ Durkin comes in and does a little self-scouting. It almost feels as if this is a litmus test to see how radioactive this is to the coaching profession. Sexton can go, ‘why don’t you roll in there and see what the firestorm is? And if there’s not a hubbub about this, I can sell that to new buyers and bidders who might want DJ Durkin to be a part of their coaching staff.’”
Alabama is currently preparing for the College Football Playoff. The Crimson Tide are set to take on Oklahoma.