Alabama’s Nick Saban will be the highest-paid coach in college football this year, bringing in $11.125 million as part of a signing bonus and a new contract.

That salary might seem insanely high for a football coach, but it’s perfectly reasonable for the Crimson Tide under the current system, for three reasons:

  1. Saban wins.
  2. Alabama athletics makes $150 million per year.
  3. The Crimson Tide don’t pay their labor.

In a normal economy, Saban wouldn’t be worth $11.125 million per year. NFL teams, which make more money than college teams, don’t even pay their coaches that much. That’s because roughly 49 percent of the money NFL teams bring in goes to their labor.

Even if we pretend Alabama is “paying” a full scholarship to every athlete (it’s not), and the university only spends 8.5 percent of its money on labor. The rest goes to inflated coaches’ salaries and asinine facilities spending.

So what we’re saying is, pay the players.

About Kevin Trahan

Kevin mostly covers college football and college basketball, with an emphasis on NCAA issues and other legal issues in sports. He is also an incoming law student. He's written for SB Nation, USA Today, VICE Sports, The Guardian and The Wall Street Journal, among others. He is a graduate of Northwestern University.