Saban Says He'll Finish At Alabama
On Tuesday The University of Alabama Board of Trustees Compensation Committee extended Nick Saban's contract through the 2019 season and raised his annual compensation to at least $5.3 million per year. Available records indicate he is the nation's highest paid college head football coach.
Following the Crimson Tide's spring practice Monday, Saban said, "From my standpoint, the acceptance of this extension represents our commitment -- my commitment, our family's commitment -- to The University of Alabama for the rest of our career."
Saban also offered a tantalizing afterthought.
"We made that decision after the season when other people were interested," he said.
Asked about "other people," Saban dismissed that as not important.
"It doesn't really matter," he said. "We wanted to stay at Alabama. We're staying at Alabama and we're not interested in going anyplace else. We weren't interested in going anyplace else at the end of the season, so it doesn't really matter."
Saban said he wasn't involved in any contract negotiations.
"This all happened a long time ago, right after the (BCS National Championship) game," he said. "I really think they (the board of trustees) sort of decide what they want to do and you decide if it's good enough.
"And it's certainly good enough for me."
Two new coaches, Offensive Coordinator Doug Nussmeier and Linebackers Coach Lance Thompson, had their contracts ratified. Six other assistants plus Strength and Conditioning Coach Scott Cochran were given contract extensions and raises.
Defensive Coordinator Kirby Smart has a contract through the 2014 season at $950,000 per year.
Saban said, "I think there's a very competitive market out there when it comes to assistant coaches. I think it's imperative that we keep continuity and that we had the opportunity to be competitive salary-wise with other schools who are trying to hire our coaches.
"It doesn't really matter what my opinion is or anyone else's opinion is. The market is what it is, and if we're not willing to pay that to the best people that we have, they're not going to be here."
Saban said the contracts enable Bama to keep coaches who can do a good job recruiting and developing players.
One assistant, Offensive Line Coach Jeff Stoutland, was not included in the new contracts. Saban was asked if there was a connection with Stoutland having come from Miami, where there were allegations of wrongdoing in that program when Stoutland was on the Hurricanes staff.
"As a university, we make decisions to do things because we think it's the right thing to do," Saban said. "In the future, I think Jeff Stoutland deserves to get a raise based on the merit of the work that he's done here, but I also think that it wouldn't be smart on our part of ignore other things that have happened.
"So it is what it is."
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