Alabama Team News

New book details what exactly led to Nick Saban’s sideline ‘ass chewing’ of Lane Kiffin

Lane Kiffin Nick Saban
John David Mercer/USA TODAY Sports

New details have emerged on what reportedly caused Nick Saban and Lane Kiffin’s shouting match during the final moments of Alabama’s 38-10 win over Western Kentucky last September.

In his yet-to-be-released book “4th & Goal Every Day: Alabama’s Relentless Pursuit of Perfection,” Alabama football radio color commentator Phil Savage writes that a comment Kiffin made into his headset is what set Saban off.

Following a Western Kentucky touchdown after an Alabama fumble on its own 26-yard line with 1:34 remaining, Kiffin reportedly said “dumb players make dumb plays” in his headset to which Saban responded with “no, dumb offensive coordinators call dumb plays.”

After that, ESPN cameras showed Saban yelling at Kiffin on the sidelines with their headsets off.

 Neither Saban nor Kiffin ever explained what caused the dispute.

“There’s no arguments. Those are called ass chewings,” Saban said after the game when asked about the dustup.

AL.com received an advanced copy of Savage’s book, which will be released on Aug. 29, to explain the exchange.

Saban later fired Kiffin ahead of the Crimson Tide’s national championship game loss to Clemson. At the time, Kiffin already had accepted a job to become the coach at Florida Atlantic.

Savage, a longtime friend of Saban’s, is a former NFL assistant, scout and general manager. In addition to his radio broadcasting duties, he is the executive director of the Senior Bowl and a regular contributor on ESPN’s NFL coverage.

RELATED: Nick Saban sends Alabama gear to family of slain Texas teen who had dreams to play for Tide

(You can follow Kevin Connell on Twitter @_KevinConnell)

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