Rivals have already started spinning Michigan's hiring of Alabama offensive coordinator Doug Nussmeier as a Nick Saban approved departure. Eli Gold, the respected voice of Crimson Tide football, not only refuted the claim, he destroyed it.
Some speculated Nussmeier was on the way out anyway when Lane Kiffin (now Alabama's O.C.) was brought in to evaluate the offense. Gold told 105.1's Ryan Ermanni that Saban had done the same thing with other coaches several times in the past.
"Last year the coach brought the University of Oklahoma staff to Tuscaloosa to go over stuff after winning the national championship," he said. "A couple years prior it was somebody else's staff. Nick always does that. This is nothing new. They've always shared, always with somebody and vice versa. The Alabama staff is often invited to go elsewhere."
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As every other reputable Crimson Tide source has, Gold confirmed the move was Nussmeier's to make.
"There's one voice only in the operation, and that is Nick Saban," he said. "Was that frustrating to Nuss and he felt he had to make a change, be his own guy? He was brought in to run the Alabama [Nick Saban's] offense.
He was not pushed out. Let's start with that premise. He was not pushed out. It was a surprise to most that he was moving on, particularly because positionally, even if not situationally, it was a lateral move. I can't say what exactly reason the was, but Nick is very, very, very, very demanding, not that Brady Hoke is not.
"With Nick he'd put in exceedingly long days. They're constantly working, but more often than not they're rewarded with a national champiosnhip ring, which is pretty good reward for that hard work. Maybe Nuss wanted more time with family. But I can tell you the decision to move was his. That's all I can share on that. He's a great guy, wasn't shoved out or anything, so there' no hidden story here. He just felt the time was right."
Had he brought Kiffin in for an interview to replace Nussmeier, Gold continued, Saban would have made sure it wasn't made public.
"I guarantee, Nick Saban doesn't do anything that will in any way embarrass him or anybody on his staff," he said. "If Lane Kiffin had been brought in in an undercover role to pick out a desk before [Nussmeier] left, nobody would have known Lane Kiffin was in town. They would have stashed him in Alabama in some Motel 6. He would not have been front and center for people to see him in the football complex. That's not Nick Saban's style.
"Likely, what went on here is going to be different than what will happen at Michigan. When he came in and before him, Jim McElwain, they were brought in to run the Nick Saban Alabama offense. They were not brought in to change or revolutionize the offense. Nick, like Bill Belichick for whom he worked with the Cleveland Browns, it's my way or highway. He brought in Nuss who had outstanding credentials and was blemish free not to change anything, but to further polish the piece of clay that was A.J. McCarron. He did just that."
Nussmeier arrived with great credentials and leaves with even better ones, including a national title to his credit. Gold believes he'll have the chance to be highly successful at Michigan, too.
"He's done magnificently everywhere he's been,' he said. "He's put up big numbers every stop he's made, Washington and everything. The numbers have gone up ore he's maintained world class standards.
"Also, he's a wonderful guy. When you have the opportunity to deal with him one on one, whatever, he's a great fella, a guy you'd want to sit down, have coffee with and shoot the breeze."