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.