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College Football: Saban denies single meeting with Manning, Gase

Alabama coach Nick Saban said he visited with Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning and offensive coordinator Adam Gase at the school’s football offices on the same day early last week, but not together.

The NFL is investigating the meeting since it may have violated the league’s collective bargaining agreement. Players and coaches are not allowed to meet before teams begin their offseason workout programs.

Saban on Friday night clarified comments he made the day before when he revealed meeting with the Broncos’ quarterback and offensive coordinator.

“I never said we sat down together,” Saban told the Denver Post.

Saban described the meeting as mutually beneficial in which Manning looked for ways to improve, Gase and Saban talked generally, and Saban and his coaching staff learned more about the no-huddle offense.

The NFL is looking into the meeting after Saban said Thursday that “the two of them were just making some visits.”

After some implied Gase and Manning met with Saban simultaneously, Saban on Friday said he was “shocked that anybody would think someone did anything wrong” and this is “what happens when people assume.”

“I never met with Adam,” Saban added. “When I talked with him I talked about his family. Peyton, we talked an hour in the morning and an hour in the afternoon. Adam had been talking to our assistant coaches. I never talked with Adam about football.”

Saban said Manning and Gase did not arrive together and did not know if they left together.

“Peyton had called and said he wanted to drop by,” Saban said. “Adam had already been around for a couple days when Peyton showed up. It was kind of a coincidence that they were around at the same time. I don’t know if they left together but I know they didn’t arrive here together.

“I was asked about their visit at my coach’s clinic press conference but I never said we sat down together. Because we didn’t.”

Saban coached against Manning when the quarterback played for the Indianapolis Colts and Saban guided the Miami Dolphins. Saban is also friends with Archie Manning. Gase began his coaching career working under Saban at Michigan State and then at LSU.