The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

Sports

October 1, 2013

Saban, Freeze downplay ex-Ole Miss staffer's role

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (AP) — Alabama coach Nick Saban says any concerns about the role of staffer Tyler Siskey during the Mississippi game is much ado about nothing.

Television cameras showed Siskey in the coaches box watching through binoculars. That prompted some Rebels fans to complain on message boards and social media that he was spying.

Siskey is the associate director for player personnel and worked under coach Hugh Freeze at Mississippi last season and before that at Arkansas State.

"He didn't really assist in the gameplan, and he wasn't on a headset," Saban said Monday. "He didn't talk to anybody during the game. I don't know if there's any rule that says he can't go into the press box and watch the games. And he wasn't in any different position than he's ever been in a game.

"The benefit that we have was in the offseason when we do studies of offseason opponents and how we would try to defend what they do, was to have somebody on our staff here that understood what the other team was doing."

The top-ranked Crimson Tide won the game 25-0 and 24th-ranked Ole Miss's normally high-powered offense was shut out for the first time since 1998.

Freeze seems to agree with Saban. He didn't accuse Alabama of any wrongdoing and twice said he wanted to talk about Saturday's game with Auburn.

"Nick and (Alabama defensive coordinator Kirby Smart) are two of the best in the business," he said. "It's not like they need a lot of help in preparing for a gameplan, but I'm sure Siskey helped in some way. Tyler Siskey is a good man. I hate that it's been quite the drama.

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