The keynote speaker at the DEX Imaging L'Arche Football Dinner in Mobile on May 31 will be LSU head coach Les Miles. But the real jewel of the program might be the fact that brand new Alabama offensive coordinator Doug Nussmeier is also a confirmed speaker at the annual charity event.
Proceeds from the event will benefit L'Arche Mobile, a community in which people with mental handicaps live with non-handicapped people in permanent homes.
Head coach Nick Saban has a long-standing policy against allowing assistant coaches to speak publicly or conduct interviews with the media. The “one voice” philosophy grates against the nerves of everyone who covers Alabama football, but it is what it is.
At the L’Arche dinner, both could happen. Coaches who speak at these events typically hold informal Q&A sessions either just before or just after they deliver their remarks to the paying guests. Whether Nussmeier participates in such an exchange or not, he will step to the podium and talk about football. That’s what the folks who paid $50 a plate and $400 a table paid to see and hear.
Saban spoke at the event in 2009 and 2011. Auburn’s Gene Chizik spoke in 2010. This is (I believe) Miles first appearance, at least as the keynote.
So, is this a softening in Saban’s heretofore iron-fisted control over his assistant coaches’ interaction with the public and the media?
Why is Nussmeier special?