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Alabama’s Scott Cochran: Saban Ready to Fight to Keep Him

Saban may be ready to fight to keep Cochran (photo Cedric Mason, TDA)

Alabama’s Scott Cochran: Saban Ready to Fight to Keep Him

By: Larry Burton

While the Kirby Smart move to Georgia may be a done deal, Saban seems to be so ready to see his Strength and Conditioning Coach go. Saban was not shocked that Smart made the offer to Cochran to go with him to Georgia, the two have been close friends since they both arrived in Tuscaloosa. Also both families are close friends. But Saban is willing to open up the checkbook to keep the man I’ve referred to before as “Alabama’s Ace in the Hole” in Tuscaloosa.

Cochran’s last contract raise was in June and Alabama upped his salary another $2500 to $420,000. That’s getting into the range of a good assistant coach. Though no one knows what kind of offer Smart made, or even if such an offer would even be OK’d by a usually tight fisted Georgia administration, everyone knows that whatever raise Saban wishes to give him would be done with just a stroke of the pen. Not that Saban has all that power, though he probably does, but everyone in the Alabama administration understands the importance Cochran brings to Alabama.

Cochran has been at Alabama since Saban’s arrival and was one of the first people on Saban’s wish list of hires. Since then of course, he has been a part of every national championship and runs the off season conditioning program for the team. During game time he serves as the “Get Back” coach, cheerleader and megaphone on the sideline. He is beloved by the athletes, staff and fans, his face and booming voice is broadcast over the video screens around the stadium before each game. His “Yeah, Yeah Yeah!” yell is now legendary.

For the fans, loosing Smart was an expected event. The likelihood of losing Cochran was shocking. So while nothing is 100% settled on the Cochran front right now, it looks like it could come down to money and other friendships in Tuscaloosa versus his long and close friendship to Smart.

It’s worth mentioning however that there is one other thing that could come into play. The current strength and conditioning coach at Georgia is Mark Hocke, who worked with Cochran and was his protege before leaving and taking that job in Georgia. Should Cochran take that job, then Hocke would be out of one, at least for now, or at least be demoted. So Alabama fans will hope for that perhaps guilt may keep Cochran from making that decision to leave.

It will be an interesting battle to see how this one ends.

Larry has been published in almost every media outlet for college sports and now primarily writes here for Touchdown Alabama. Follow Larry on Twitter for inside thoughts and game time comments at https://twitter.com/LBSportswriter

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Larry Burton is a member of the Football Writers of America Association (FWAA) and was the most read SEC and Alabama football writer during his time at Bleacher Report. He has been credentialed by all the major bowls and the University of Alabama. Larry provides some of the best insight in the business through his "Larry's Lowdown" segment with TDA.

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