Former Dolphins fullback Heath Evans revealed to radio host Jorge Sedano on 790 AM on Wednesday an ugly story involving former Dolphins coach Nick Saban and former offensive lineman Jeno James in July 2005.
According to Evans, Saban walked over to James as he was convulsing outside the team’s locker room following the first two-a-day practices of camp.
“We had about a three-hour-plus practice in the morning in that South Florida sun,” Evans said.
“Jeno James, our best offensive lineman at the time, comes in and collapses after practice, uh, vomiting all kinds of stuff that would make a billy goat puke, eyes rolled in the back of his head. Myself, about four other lineman are trying to carry him from the locker room, to the training room. Obviously it’s a moment of panic, everyone, you know, we don’t know if this guy’s, you know, gonna die, I mean, the whole deal. But he’s so big and sweaty and heavy that we actually have to set him down in the hallway between the locker room and the training room.
“Nick Saban literally just starts walking in, steps over Jeno James convulsing, doesn’t say a word, doesn’t try to help, goes upstairs, I don’t know what he does. But then obviously they get Jeno trauma-offed to the hospital.” Evans said Saban called a team meeting later that night and told players: “ ‘You know, the captain of the ship can never show fear or indecision, we’ve always gotta have an answer, and so I had to go upstairs, that’s why I walked over Jeno like that, I had to collect my thoughts and decide what’s best for our team.’ ”
Evans went on to say players were stunned how Saban “showed no human emotion for one of his best players.” Bell, one of the few Dolphins on that team who still remains, remembered the situation a little differently Wednesday.
“I recall the incident. He had abdominal cramps, full-body cramps,” Bell said. “I think it was a lot worse than what Coach Saban knew. I wouldn’t say he just stepped over him. Jeno was in pretty bad shape. I don’t think us as players knew how bad it was.”
This is an excerpt from a column by Miami Herald staff writer Many Navarro. Read the full column here.
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