Originally created 11/20/02

Internet hoax causes friction between LSU and Alabama



BATON ROUGE, La. -- LSU coach Nick Saban found an irritated Dennis Franchione waiting midfield after the Tide beat the Tigers 31-0.

The Alabama coach was apparently angry over an anonymous e-mail message about a post-game speech attributed to Saban. But Saban denies he made the snide remarks about Alabama and the school's NCAA sanctions.

The unsigned message had no attribution. It claimed Saban made the anti-Alabama remarks while addressing his team following the LSU-Kentucky game.

The author of the e-mail message "just made it all up," Saban said.

"He wasn't in the locker room. He wasn't within 800 miles of the locker room."

The prankster later published a retraction, Saban said. But Franchione and his team apparently did not see i.

"It was pretty obvious when I was walking across the field that some of the Alabama players were pretty upset about it," Saban said. "And I just mentioned to Fran that I didn't make those statements and didn't make those comments."

Alabama is in the first year of a two-year bowl ban and five years of NCAA probation for recruiting and other violations. The team is not eligible for the Southeastern Conference West title or the SEC Championship Game even though it leads the SEC with a 6-1 record.