The University of Alabama is about to launch a bidding war for Nick Saban, who is apparently inclined to listen.
Ian Rapoport and Kevin Scarbinsky report that, “Representatives of Alabama and representatives of Saban have agreed on most major points of a contract, two sources close to the situation said, but it is uncertain whether Saban would accept the job if Alabama extends a formal offer. A source close to Saban said he is considering the job.” Thomas Murphy and Neal McCready of the Mobile Press-Register report that “University of Alabama officials are preparing to offer Saban a contract that would potentially double the remaining money — approximately $15 million — left on the final three years of his Miami contract, a source close to the situation said Sunday. The source said it would take $4 million a year, probably over seven years, to entice Saban to listen.”
While I have maintained from the beginning that leaving the Dolphins makes little sense, “A source close to Saban said he is leaning toward a return to the college game and Saban believes he can lead Alabama back to the top of college football.” Now that I don’t doubt. The Tide is now totally free from NCAA penalties and they have a lot of young talent. Then again, he’s already won a national college championship and Miami has quite a bit of talent, too.
LSU offensive coordinator Jimbo Fisher, a close friend of Saban who coached under him at LSU, tells ESPN that “Saban is unhappy coaching in the NFL, where he has less control over personnel issues.”
Wayne Huizenga, who denies that he intends to sell the Dolphins, “might ‘back a Brinks’ truck’ up to Saban’s doorstep to keep him,” according to yet another unnamed source. Either way, I guess, Saban is going to be a very wealthy man.
At any rate, it appears that we’ll know something this week: “Athletics Director Mal Moore wants to have a coach by the end of the week, one source said, because the recruiting dead period ends Friday.” And Saban will never be officially “offered” a deal unless he has agreed to it in advance: “In order for any meeting between UA officials and Saban to happen, or for Alabama to extend a formal offer, Alabama would have to hear that Saban would take the job, two sources said. Any meeting would happen in the next few days, probably Tuesday or Wednesday.”
UPDATE: ESPN’s Chris Mortenson is reporting that a formal offer will be made today and “A current Alabama assistant told ESPN.com’s Mark Schlabach on Sunday morning that former coach Mike Shula’s staff expects Saban to be named the Crimson Tide’s new coach sometime this week.” “He’s going to clean house here, top to bottom,” the coach said.
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