Terry Bradshaw

Alabama head coach Nick Saban will receive $11.25 million next season after signing a contract extension earlier this month, making him the highest-paid coach in college football. According to USA Today, he is also now one of the nation’s highest-paid public employees.

Fox Sports analyst and former Super Bowl champion Terry Bradshaw thinks that’s utterly ridiculous. In a debate on the Paul Finebaum Show with an Alabama super fan named Phyllis, Bradshaw called Saban’s contract “shameful,” comparing his contract to the athletic budget of his alma mater Louisiana Tech:

Bradshaw: “I understand Saban, that’s your coach. What’s he making, $12 million now? That is the entire athletic budget at Louisiana Tech. The entire budget. That’s shameful! Shameful!”

Phyllis: “Shame? You think the man hasn’t earned it? Do you think the man hasn’t earned every single dollar he has earned at the University of Alabama?”

Bradshaw also ripped into Saban’s personality (while complimenting Steve Spurrier’s), saying the coach “hates people.”

“If he has the personality of Steve Spurrier, then I would like him. Spurrier, now you’re talking about a great coach. That’s a great coach, Steve Spurrier, not Saban. Saban hates people. The man doesn’t even like people. 12 million. Think about it. I could use a little bit of that money to kind of help pay off my trailer house.”

For starters, Bradshaw’s number on Louisiana Tech’s budget is off. According to USA Today’s most recent database from 2014-15, the school’s budget was about $22 million. But Bradshaw’s point still stands in light of that difference.

As Kevin Trahan detailed for The Comeback, Saban’s contract really is shameful. The only reason Saban — or any major college football coach — has such a fat salary, is because schools don’t have to pay their players. Bradshaw didn’t push further on why he considers the contract shameful, but it appears his reasoning is different.

Either way, saying Saban’s salary is shameful doesn’t mean he doesn’t deserve to be the highest-paid football coach. He’s won four national titles in his 10-year tenure at Alabama, winning at least 10 games each of the last nine seasons. But thinking about the sheer amount of money that he makes when that cash could be reallocated to the student-athletes on whom he’s built his career is a different story.

[ESPNSEC Country]

About Jesse Kramer

Jesse is a writer and editor for The Comeback. He has also worked for SI.com and runs The Catch and Shoot, a college basketball website based in Chicago. He is a graduate of the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University. Follow Jesse on Twitter @Jesse_Kramer.

  • How much actual education could $11 million pay for?

    • David K.

      Based on the projected cost of attendance for the University of Alabama for an in-state resident, it would range from $25,000-30,000 if you include transportation and other miscellaneous costs which would not be included in a full scholarship. That equates to between about 365-440 people.

      However, the money Saban is being paid comes from revenue generated by the athletic department, which has for years now run a surplus.

  • David K.

    A full-ride scholarship at the University of Alabama includes tuition, room and board, books, and miscellaneous fees which would range from $25,000 a year to $45,000 a year (in-state vs out-of-state). In addition football players receive medical and nutrition services, tutoring, weight and conditioning training, and training for a potential career in the NFL. To say they are not paid is patently false. Its not an opinion on which people can disagree, it is objectively, categorically not true.

    If you want to advance an honest argument, then argue that they are not receiving a fair amount of compensation for the value they provide. That is a legitimate argument. But it is absolutely disingenuous to claim they do not get paid.

  • BobLee Says

    I got no dog in this fight… but its sounds like Bradshaw is pretending he is Charles Barkley….. trolling to be a high trending sports topic for 48 hours. Alas, Terry ain’t as smart as Sir Charles. He will be goaded into follow-up comments and will self-implode making a sad mess . ….. Yo Terry, Donate whats left of your concussed brain to NFL Research and retire to some Bayou fish camp,

  • SatirevFlesti

    Bradshaw is a moron, and he hardly lives in a trailer as he claimed (see his appearance on the Feherty show, which was filmed at Bradshaw’s huge ranch).

    And Saban is ten-times the coach Spurrier ever was.

    Given that the football program at Alabama brings in revenue of well-over $100 million per year, in large part due to the massive success of Saban during his tenure, I’d say he’s earned every bit of the $10-12 million per year they are paying him.

  • MrBull

    Sounds like Terry stopped taking his medication, again…