Ross Kelly, CBS Local Sports

In the late 1980s Nick Saban was a first-time NFL coach with the Houston Oilers. In order to make a name for himself, he apparently would do whatever it took to elevate his position group, and himself.

Courtesy of SEC Country, Saban admitted on his weekly radio show that he ‘assisted’ prospects in taking the Wonderlic test at the NFL combine. If he saw a prospect that he coveted perform poorly on the test, Saban would request that the player re-take the test, but not before he would receive some tutoring from Saban himself:

“I hate to admit it now, but if I really liked a player, I would actually take the test out, look at it, tutor the guy a little bit, alright, before he took it. Maybe lose a few minutes on the timing part of it, so he had a little extra time… and they would do better. But we were trying to create opportunities then, just like we’re trying to create opportunities for people now.”

These comments follow ones he made in 2006 in an interview with USA Today about the Wonderlic.

“I really liked this guy. He played safety. I got the test out, and even though I didn’t take it, I studied it. Then I tutored the guy for about an hour before he took it, then I gave him twice as long to take it than he was supposed to…He doubled his score. We got him to where we could draft him. Now nobody knows about that, but I don’t think (Oilers owner) Bud Adams can fire me now, so I’m OK with it.”

Saban the cheat? Well he was on that early 1990s Cleveland Browns staff led by this guy. I guess birds of the same feather really do flock together.

Ross Kelly is an Associated Producer for CBS Local Sports. He is from Louisiana and is a fan of all sports, but not of any teams (except LSU). He can be reached at ross.kelly@cbs.com.