Saban: Siskey 'didn’t really assist in the game plan'
by Marq Burnett
mburnett@annistonstar.com
Sep 30, 2013 | 2830 views |  0 comments | 13 13 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Tyler Siskey (Ole Miss photo)
Tyler Siskey (Ole Miss photo)
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TUSCALOOSA -- ESPN’s cameras captured Alabama associate director for player personnel Tyler Siskey in the coaches' box at Saturday's game, and Ole Miss fans are calling foul.

Siskey was seen using the binoculars while standing in the Alabama coaches’ area in the Bryant-Denny Stadium press box during the fourth quarter of the Crimson Tide's 25-0 win over Ole Miss.

Rebels fans took to social media and accused Siskey, a former Ole Miss staffer, of helping the Crimson Tide’s defense stifle the Rebels’ offensive attack.

On Monday, Tide coach Nick Saban said Siskey “wasn’t in any different position than he’s ever been in any game” and had no effect on the Tide’s game plan or in-game adjustments Saturday. Siskey is an Anniston native and former Donoho School standout.

Once the cameras spotted Siskey, ESPN analyst Todd Blackledge said Siskey was “very involved” with Alabama’s defensive preparations during the week.

“He didn’t really assist in the game plan,” Saban said during his Monday news conference. “He wasn’t on the headset, didn’t talk to anybody during the game. I don’t know if there’s any rule that says he can’t go in the press box and watch the game. He wasn’t in any different position than he’s ever been in any game.”

If Siskey was coaching during the game, it would be a violation of NCAA bylaw 11.7.2, which states that Football Bowl Subdivision teams are limited to one head coach, nine assistant coaches and four graduate assistants who can coach during a game.

Siskey worked as Ole Miss’ coordinator of recruiting development last season and worked under Hugh Freeze as the wide receivers coach at Arkansas State the previous year.

He was Alabama senior AJ McCarron’s quarterbacks coach and offensive coordinator at Mobile's St. Paul's Episcopal School.

“I don’t know where he typically is, but certainly I’ll say that Alabama had a wonderful defensive plan for us,” Freeze told reporters during his Monday news conference. “Give them a lot of credit for the work that they put in, in preparing for us, whether it was in the summertime or whether it was just in the week.

“Nick and Kirby (Smart) are two of the best in the business and not that they need a lot of help in preparing a game plan, but I’m sure Siskey helped in some way. Tyler Siskey is a good man, and I hate that it’s been quite the drama.”

Freeze said he has not contacted the SEC offices about an investigation into the situation. Freeze said he was ready to move on and focus on Ole Miss’ upcoming game against Auburn on Saturday.

“I don’t think for one minute that Nick would put himself or his program at risk in doing something. I have confidence,” Freeze said. “I don’t want to get involved in something like that. They beat us. They lined up and beat us. I’m ready to move on to Auburn.”

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