The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

Sports

June 12, 2013

Saban guarding Alabama against complacency

(Continued)

Saban's fee for Tuesday's appearance was donated to Nick's Kids Fund, a nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting children, family, teacher and student causes that typically receives any money he receives for these types of events.

Saban didn't focus on specific aspects of Alabama's upcoming season Tuesday and instead discussed the ideals that help a team win.

He emphasized the necessity to set the right example and noted that all the players he's ever coached "don't give a hoot what you know until they know that you care about them."

He said each individual must realize that every choice has a positive or negative consequence. He preached the importance of character, self-discipline and work ethic.

"I know I'm old-fashioned and I know I'm crazy with this stuff, but I believe it," Saban said. "It works for us. That's why we have success. I also think you have to have a positive attitude about what you're trying to do. You've got to have a vision for what you're trying to do."

Saban spoke for 35 minutes and then took questions for 20 minutes. At one point, a questioner expressed concern about quarterback A.J. McCarron because his girlfriend "is such a beautiful woman and A.J. needs to concentrate on football."

"I'd like to put you in his situation and see what you'd do," Saban quipped before spending the next few minutes raving about McCarron's leadership.

Preston said about 90 percent of the people who bought tickets to Tuesday's event were from outside McMinn County, and that fans had bought tickets from as far away as Florida and North Carolina

The first person in line was Sara Chihasz of Loudon, Tenn., who said she arrived at 1:30 p.m., four hours before organizers began collecting tickets.

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