NC Times: Gates, Saban have crossed paths


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Staff member
Jun 20, 2005
Chula Vista, CA

SAN DIEGO ---- Chargers All-Pro tight end Antonio Gates will see a familiar face Sunday in Miami Dolphins coach Nick Saban. Gates attended Michigan State when Saban was its head coach, and many thought Gates transferred from there because Saban wouldn't let Gates play basketball, too.

Not so, Saban said in a Wednesday conference call.

"(Basketball coach) Tom Izzo recruited several guys with the idea that they could do (both) and we were going to let Antonio do it, but things didn't work out from an academic standpoint for him like we wanted it to.''

Added Gates, who went to Eastern Michigan State and College of Sequoias before landing at Kent State, where he played just basketball: "I had just gotten there, so he felt like I needed to focus on my academics. At the time, I was just so young, man. I couldn't comprehend not playing basketball. That was going through my mind. When I look back on it, it's funny because I understand what he was trying to say.''