Add Nick Saban to the growing and distinguished list of football dignitaries who have incurred the Twitter wrath of Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh.
Saban, speaking at the SEC spring meetings on Tuesday afternoon, took aim at the flood of satellite camps that will be popping up in cities across the U.S. in the coming month. Saban said the camps were obvious recruiting tools and allowed for third parties to stick their noses into the process and potentially lead to problems like those that exist with AAU coaches and handlers in basketball recruiting. He said it was "amazing to [him] somebody didn't stand up and say here are going to be the unintended consequences of what you all are doing."
Saban went on to say that he held no personal animosity toward Harbaugh, just the rules that allow satellite camps. Harbaugh, apparently, wasn't buying that. He responded a few hours later.
"Amazing" to me- Alabama broke NCAA rules & now their HC is lecturing us on the possibility of rules being broken at camps. Truly "amazing."
— Coach Harbaugh (@CoachJim4UM) June 1, 2016
Harbaugh's jab seems to reference an Alabama assistant who recently resigned after alleged recruiting violations.
Saban joins the ranks of "the Georgia coach" Kirby Smart, his "Rocky Top colleague" Butch Jones and Ohio State's "Director Smith" as coaches and administrators who have been the targets of some social media smack talk from Harbaugh. All four have done some rule-breaking or insinuated that Michigan did some rule-breaking. Harbaugh has spoken adamantly about his respect for the rules and his unwillingness to disobey the letter of the law.
This is not necessarily a burnt bridge for Michigan and the defending national champions in Tuscaloosa. Harbaugh has mended his relationship enough with Smart to visit a satellite camp with the Bulldogs coaching staff in the coming week.
Given that Saban's original comments refer to satellite camps as creating "the wild, wild West," it feels like the only proper way for gunslinger Jim Harbaugh to settle his most recent dispute is with a duel.