Sports Outside the Beltway

Alabama gives Nick Saban a contract extension through 2017

The Crimson Tide went 12-2 in 2008. From AP-

Pledging his commitment to Alabama for the rest of his coaching career, Nick Saban signed a contract extension Saturday that will keep him in charge of the Crimson Tide football program through the 2017 season.

Saban, accused by some of being a coaching nomad and not willing to set down roots, said prior to last season that there were “no other horizons” for him in the coaching profession. This latest deal would appear to be another clear indication that he has dug in at Alabama.

I never thought of Saban as a coaching nomad. His namesake, the late Lou Saban, was the ultimate nomad in college football coaching.

Alabama officials had been working on a contract that would not change Saban’s base salary over the next several years, but would award him with a three-year extension, bumping up his total financial package to an average of more than $4 million per year.

Saban is scheduled to make $3.9 million this year. His original eight-year contract was worth $32 million and escalated each year. He’ll go to $4.1 million in 2010 and is scheduled to make $4.2 million in each of the final three years of that deal (2012, 2013 and 2014).

A long term contract locks in Saban in Tuscaloosa for a long time. It comes with disadvantages, which to me outweigh the advantages. A coach may underperform or bring scandal to the school. The University will then, and often with good reason, want to move on but are restrained from doing so because of the cost of buying out a coach’s contract.

Alabama football fans, no disrespect to my friend and owner of this blog James Joyner, seem fickle to me. They want the Bear Bryant days back and when a coach doesn’t live up to these high expectations, they soon long for the next candidate. That is just my humble opinion.

Related Stories:
Recent Stories:

There’s not much doubt Alabama fans have high and unrealistic expectations. Gone are the days when the Alabamas and Notre Dames can stack their rosters three deep with talent. The combination of scholarship limits, early eligibility for the pros, and the rise of Florida, Texas, and California as the key recruiting hotbeds make that impossible.

Saban is the first great head coach since Bryant, though. Ray Perkins was mediocre and Bill Curry didn’t fit the culture. Gene Stallings was quite good and won a national title, although infractions toward the end of his tenure put the school in a bind for years. Mike DuBose was lousy, Dennis Franchione left for Texas A&M (how’s that workin’ out for ya, Fran?), Mike Price never coached a game, and Mike Shula was too green.

It’s remarkable, really, how many nobodies were hired to coach in the post-Bryant era.

Posted by James Joyner | August 30, 2009 | 07:18 am | Permalink

RSS feed for these comments.

Comments are Closed


Visitors Since Feb. 4, 2003

All original content copyright 2003-2008 by OTB Media. All rights reserved.