Reply from the Athens Chamber is fantastic:
"Thank you for expressing your sentiments regarding University of Alabama coach, Nick Saban coming to Athens to speak. I am sorry Coach Saban’s visit to Athens would provoke you to change your travel plans and withdraw your support from Athens businesses, especially since they had no part in the decision to invite Coach Saban.
I also understand this is Tennessee, therefore “Big Orange Country”. However, not everyone who lives in Tennessee are Tennessee Volunteer fans... I dare say that even in the Sweetwater community alone you would find a variety of fans from a plethora of colleges and universities across the nation, and while loyalties to teams can run very deep, there is typically a respect for successful programs, seasons, athletes and coaches.
It is out of such respect for Coach Saban’s success in the sport of football and his obvious ability to motivate a group of people to focus, work hard and reach a goal successfully, that the Chamber made the decision to invite him to speak. We are sure everyone in attendance will learn something from him that they will be able to apply to their everyday lives, which will hopefully not only benefit them individually but also the places in their sphere of influence, be it their workplace, home, church, school or recreational outlet.
This event was scheduled during the summer of 2012 prior to Coach Dooley’s leaving and Coach Jones’s hiring and we are anticipating a fun evening for everyone who decides to purchase a ticket and attend. Last year’s event celebrating UT’s ’98 National Championship with Coach Fulmer, Al Wilson and Peerless Price was great, as were the years Coach Steve Spurrier spoke, and Coach Bruce Pearl, and Pete Rose. A couple of years the speakers were not associated with sports…but, Kirk Cameron had a great message, as did “The Incredible Hulk” Lou Ferrigno.
Again, thank you for contacting us and expressing your opinion. I do hope you will reconsider and continue enjoying Athens businesses you have supported in the past.
If I can be of any assistance to you in the future, please do not hesitate to contact me."