WATCH: Alabama’s Nick Saban addresses ‘fine line’ of protecting college football

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Alabama coach Nick Saban says the fact that college football is part of the entertainment industry leaves it susceptible to change.

DESTIN, Fla. — The SEC Spring Meetings are underway and judging from the topics being talked about, college football could look more like the NFL in the future.

Among the early topics discussed were:

• alcohol sales at games

• players being compensated for their likenesses

• transfer rules that resemble restricted free agency

• aggressive scheduling in anticipation of expanded playoffs

DawgNation asked Alabama coach Nick Saban on Tuesday at the Hilton Sandestin Beach Golf Resort & Spa about protecting the college game.

The 67-year-old Saban, a six-time national championship coach, provided a thoughtful, measured response.

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“I think there’s a fine line between protecting the integrity of college football and understanding that, I don’t think as big as it’s gotten, that any of us can deny the fact we’re in the entertainment business to some degree,” Saban said. “So finding a balance between those two things is difficult.”

Saban is of the mindset to control what he can control.

“The things that I focus on is what affects the players, (because) that’s sort of our job as coaches to help our guys be more successful in life for having been involved in the program and help them to develop personally, academically and athletically so that they have a better chance of being successful in the future,” Saban said. “And things that affect that are the things that we try to focus on.

“So, you’re talking about roster management that comes up a lot here, and I think it is what it is, but I think how we manage our roster so we don’t penalize the guys who are left in the program is the thing I choose to focus on most — and having a program that is beneficial to the player so there is no reason to want to leave.”

Alabama coach Nick Saban


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