TUSCALOOSA -- On the first day in the last three without breaking Urban Meyer news, Alabama's Nick Saban addressed the health concerns facing college football coaches.
He did so first with a quick joke.
"I could work here and take the stress, or I could retire and go home and work for (wife) Terry and take the stress there," Saban said with a smirk. "I think I'll keep my day job because I would be working just as hard at home. That's kind of my motivation. I don't really feel like I have an out right now. I'm willing to hang in there."
He then got a little more serious about the saga involving the last coach he faced who resigned Saturday only to reconsider Sunday and settle on taking a leave of absence.
Having coaches like Meyer in the game only makes college football better, Saban said while offering his prayers for a recovery from whatever is causing the health issues for the Gator coach.
"He does it with a lot of dignity and class and professionalism," Saban said. "I not only have a lot of respect for him as a person, but also with the wonderful job he's done everywhere he's gone, especially at the University of Florida."
Being a Florida native with a family holding deep Gator ties, Tide tight end Colin Peek was also asked about the Meyer situation.
"I think it's very sad to see a coach in his prime have to deal with a situation like that," he said. "To me, I thought it was going to be cool to have this rivalry of Florida versus Alabama every year in the SEC Championship. I have so much respect for the man and the program that he built. It's a shame something like this would happen to that could cause him to almost lose everything that he's worked for. So I pray that he has a safe recovery from whatever he has."
Stoops visits Tide
High school coaches are commonly welcomed to attend the closed Alabama football practices. There was one visitor last week who coached at a slightly higher level.
Confirming internet rumors, Saban said Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops did in fact attend a Tide practice last week. The visit stemmed from a similar visit the Sooner coach paid to Tuscaloosa over the summer when he expressed an interest in watching an Alabama workout.
Since the Sooners were done with practice for the holiday, Stoops and a few members of his staff swung by the Alabama complex.
"They got here right before practice," Saban said. "They watched practice organization. They watched practice and they left. We didn't get a chance to spend much time or to talk much."
Woodall to Shrine Game
Add Alabama's Justin Woodall to the list of Tide seniors participating in a postseason all-star game.
The defensive back was selected to the East-West Shrine Game set for Jan. 23 in Orlando. He's started all 13 games while making 45 tackles and intercepting three passes.
He joins a group of five teammates playing in the Senior Bowl that includes Terrence Cody, Mike Johnson, Javier Arenas, Leigh Tiffin and Peek.
The exhibitions bring together some of the top seniors from around the county so NFL scouts can get an extra look before the April draft.