Nick Saban: Fuel pump at fault in boat breakdown

Even Nick Saban, one of the most successful and most prepared college football coaches of all time and a veteran boater to boot, can occasionally run into trouble on the water.

But for the record, Saban said he didn't run out of gas while spending an afternoon on the lake with some of his Alabama players last week, as was the rage on social media, even though he has gotten a big laugh out of some of the responses.

Saban told ESPN that what actually happened was the fuel pump was defective. And get this: The boat was new.

"Brand spanking new, and it's the first time I'd been out in it," Saban told ESPN. "So when it stalled, I'm thinking, 'Oh my gosh. I bought a new boat, and they didn't put gas in it.' I didn't even think about it. You just assume that it's got gas in it when you get a new car or a new boat. My heart sunk for a minute because I had all those kids out there. I had two of them on tubes when it happened. We had fun, but I sure heard about it."

Saban said one of the funniest responses he received came from a student at the Naval Academy.

"He sent me a picture of a big-ass warship and said, 'Hey Coach, we got you, man. We'll always come pick you up,'" Saban said, laughing.

A video began circulating last week on social media with Saban wearing a sheepish grin while his players cracked jokes about running out of gas on the lake.

"We didn't run out of gas. But when the fuel pump runs out, that's exactly what it feels like," said Saban, who was on the boat with members of the Alabama football team's leadership group. "I've got all these kids on the boat, and I say, 'We must have run out of gas,' and then look at the gas gauge and it's full. So I call for a mechanic, who brings another boat, and he resets the thing or whatever. I told him, 'You drive that boat. I'm driving your boat.'

"I've been getting busted about this for a week, but the kids sure had fun with it."