Burress: Saban followed the money when he left MSU, too

The Detroit News

Alabama coach Nick Saban says NFL evaulations might have affected his team's chemistry leading into the national semifinals against Ohio State.

One of his former players at Michigan State says he knows the feeling.

Plaxico Burress, who played for the Spartans from 1998-99 before an 11-season NFL career, says the lure of money might have distracted Saban, too, when he coached at Michigan State. Saban was Michigan State's head coach from 1995-99 before heading to LSU.

"We had six guys in this situation this past year and 11 the year before," Saban said at Wednesday's Southeastern Conference media days. "So we're trying to get ready for a game, and all of a sudden a guy finds out he's a first-round draft pick or a guy that thought he was a first-round draft pick finds out he's not a first-round draft pick, and we're trying to get ready to play a playoff game."

Alabama lost to eventual national champion Ohio State in the national semifinal, 42-35.

Burress took issue on Twitter.

"Now Nick Saban goes on tv saying that kids are distracted by NFL projections," Burress tweeted. "Well, the kids are just chasing a dream that you were. $$$.

"Now Nick Saban players are being distracted by the NFL and chasing a dream," he continued. "haha tell your story Nick. LSU showed you $$, you was GONE! Ha."

Saban coached five seasons at LSU, winning the national championship in 2003, before heading to the NFL to coach the Miami Dolphins. He's been at Alabama since 2007, where he's won three national titles.