Sports Outside the Beltway

The Story behind Nick Saban’s Cajun Comments

A South Florida Sports reporter leaked the off the record comments to a radio station.

Three reporters representing The Miami Herald, The Palm Beach Post and The South Florida Sun-Sentinel met with Nick Saban on Jan. 3 in Tuscaloosa, Ala., the day after he left the Dolphins, and in the ensuing 45-minute interview, the coach made a handful of off-the-record remarks.

One of those remarks included explicit language and a slur against Cajuns, and became public when Miami Herald reporter Jeff Darlington shared a recording of Saban’s words with a South Florida sports radio host.

The coach’s slur was not initially published by The Herald because of the coach’s request for that portion of the interview to remain private.

Two weeks later, Darlington e-mailed an audio file of the conversation that included the slur to 560-WQAM radio host Orlando Alzugaray, who aired the comments on his morning radio show in both South Florida and Mobile.

Copies from those airings then hit the Internet.

”In poor judgment, I decided to e-mail another journalist an audio sampling of an interview that took place in Nick Saban’s office,” Darlington said. “Though I did not expect the clip to be used, it was still my responsibility to make sure the audio was never published in any way. I apologize for my bad decision.

“My recorder was on the table in front of Coach Saban, in plain view, and he knew the conversation was being recorded. However, I never initially reported the material because he indicated to the three reporters present that it was not intended for print.”

Bob at The Daily Pulp sums this story up best.

Yeah, Jeff, who woulda thunk sending an audiotape to a radio station would end like this? I mean, radio stations usually have better sense than to drive up ratings by putting controversial tapes of celebrities on the air. So don’t beat yourself up, man, because NOBODY could have foreseen that.

Will Darlington be fired for leaking the tape? I wouldn’t think any newspaper or media outlet would appreciate a reporter doing what Darlington did.

Cross posted at The Florida Masochist and Poliblog’s Deportes

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