DJ Durkin

USA Today

Nicktator Brings In DJ Durkin

Nick Saban, what the hell is wrong with you?

December 14, 2018 - 11:57 am

Remember when the University Of Maryland Board Of Regents announced that they were in favor of bringing back head football coach DJ Durkin? And then he was shortly let go after that? 

And then there was the speculation about whether or not he’d ever work again? As always, when it comes to something like that, there are only two words you need to remember: Dave Bliss. If that guy can find work after what he did, anyone can find work. 

In fact, I was pretty darn confident that Durkin would show up somewhere. Because college sports is kind of like that. I don’t want to say that parts of it are a cesspool, but let’s just say that the moral compass is usually broken.

I figured he would probably takes the rest of this season off, collect the more than five mill in severance he reportedly received from Maryland, and then show up at someone’s spring practice as an advisor or analyst and then in a few years, he’s a coordinator again. That’s how I figured it would go. 

I was wrong.

Because he’s back already. And he’s not back at some out of the way, rinky-dink junior college in Kansas. He’s at Alabama. Yes, the Alabama. Nick Saban’s Alabama.

According to, Durkin has been "helping Alabama this past week in a consultant-like capacity.”




And I know what you’re thinking - that it’s disgusting and insane and deranged to bring in a guy six months after one of his players died as the result of an offseason workout. 

And to that I say, who else is going to show videos of drills going into eyeballs during breakfast? 

You think those videos of animals eating themselves are just going to show themselves? Nope. If you want someone to show film of serial killers while your guys are killing cereal, there’s only one man for the job: DJ Durkin. 

I’ve always said when you get the chance to grab a guy who has a career losing record as a head coach and has the death of a player on his watch, you do it. Chances like that don’t come along very often.

You’re just lucky that Saban waited this long to get him. 

But in all seriousness, Nick Saban, what the hell is wrong with you? 

I’d ask if you have no shame, but the answer to that is pretty obvious. What’s next? Bringing in Urban Meyer to run “how to relate to women” and “how to manage your cell phone history” seminars for your staff?

Not only does he not have any shame, he doesn’t have any empathy or sympathy. Jordan McNair’s parents, family, and friends are still grieving. They are going through the holidays without Jordan for the first time and Nick Saban rushes to get DJ Durkin a gig.

This isn’t Lane Kiffin or Sark that you’re bringing in after some small incidents, this is a guy who was just fired six weeks ago for overseeing a program that oversaw the death of a player. It’s a guy who was described by a parent as a “narcissistic sociopath”

So why bring him in? For who? For what? Sure, he had a decent run as an assistant, but do you really need to add him to your army of analysts and consultants before facing Oklahoma? 

You really need that guy to break down tape on Kyler Murray? Is DJ Durkin really going to be the edge you need? And if you need that edge in the form of DJ Durkin, is it really worth it? I’d say no. 

Then again, Nick, did you conduct your own investigation and feel that he was wrongfully dismissed? 

What the hell is the point? You’re the heavy favorite to win another national title and even if you weren’t, what would be the point? Even if you were not in line to win yet another national title, why would you want this guy within 100 miles of your program?

What kind of a message does it send to your players? Hey, guys, I really value and respect you. Now meet our new consultant who had a player die on his watch. Roll Tide!

Nick, you aren’t running a car wash or a halfway house. It’s not your job to provide career rehab to every creep, freak, and loser who ever held a clipboard. Nobody ever accused Kiffin or Sark of overseeing a program that killed anyone. Are you trying to right some grand wrong? Because if so, that’s not your job. 

Nick Saban has made it perfectly clear over the years that he cares about one thing and one thing only: winning. Everything else be damned. 

So I don’t expect Nick Saban to have a heart or a soul. But I do expect him to have a clue. And he apparently doesn’t have that. And if he doesn’t, then someone at Alabama should. 

Where is the University of Alabama president, Stuart R. Bell, on this? Stu, do you really want DJ Durkin on your campus? Because if you’re silent, that means you’re cool with it. 

And how about the Alabama Board of Trustees, where are they? You guys good with having a guy who ran a program that had the death of a player a few months ago?

This is an absolutely monstrous move. And totally unnecessary. And the fact that it is unnecessary, and would never be necessary under any circumstances, makes it cruel. 

There are a lot of questions Nick Saban needs to answer. Questions like:

- What is Durkin’s role?

- Is he going to get a full-time gig?

- Is he being paid? 

- Why is he around children?

- And what the hell is wrong with you?

And you know exactly how this is going to go. Someone is going to ask Saban about it, he’ll get pissy and irritated. He’ll whine about the negative media and that will be the end of that. 

But it shouldn’t be. As good a coach as Saban is, a move like this erases just about all the good press he’s ever received. Unless this report is wrong, Nick Saban is embarrassing his school, his sport, and himself. 

Again, there are plenty of questions for Nick Saban to answer. But let me ask this one: if DJ Durkin is a “narcissistic sociopath” what does that make the guy who hires him just weeks after he was fired?