Nick Saban: The $6 Million Bargain

Posted: March 31, 2012 by centennialsports in NCAA

By Dane Belbeck

The University of Alabama may wear the colour of crimson, but the colour best associated with head football coach Nick Saban is definitely green.

For the coach of the current National Champion Crimson Tide, it’s a colour he will be seeing for a very long time.

Saban signed a two-year contract extension on Monday that will keep him in Tuscaloosa until 2019 at an average of $5.6 million per year.

And that may be a bargain.

The Crimson Tide are coming off a 12-1 season which saw them win their second national championship in three years, yet many critics are claiming the extension for Saban is too lucrative and allocates valuable university resources improperly.

This is absurd.

Since Saban took over the Crimson Tide in 2007, following an unsuccessful run with the NFL’s Miami Dolphins, he has led them to two Bowl Championship Series national championships and four consecutive seasons with ten or more wins.  Previous to Saban taking over, Alabama had not won a national championship since 1992.

In the five years that Saban has been in control at Alabama he has compiled a 55-12 record for an astonishing .851 winning percentage.  This is even more remarkable considering that the Crimson Tide play in the ultra-competitive Southeastern Conference.  The SEC is the most decorated conference in the BCS era having won the last six national championships.

The football program isn’t just a varsity team at Alabama, it is a highly lucrative business entity as well.  Since Saban took over the program the Crimson Tide have risen to the sixth most valuable NCAA football team according to Forbes magazine valued at $93 million.  In 2011 the revenue generated by the football program exceeded $77 million and represented 11 percent of all revenue generated by the university.

Prior to the Saban regime the waiting list for priority-seating tickets, which require a donation atop the price of the seat, was at 1200.  It currently sits at 15000 and is growing each year.

The yearly salary of $5.6 million is an astronomical amount of money for an educational institution to be paying a man to coach their football team.  Saban isn’t a professor teaching students the methods of finding a cure for terminal disease.  He isn’t teaching students how successfully run their own business and he certainly isn’t teaching students how to properly practice law.

To put into perspective how much money Saban is making, the University of Alabama interim President & Provost Judy Bonner will earn $368 000 in 2012.  That is 14 times less than what the head football coach is making … 14 TIMES!  Alabama will pay Saban $14 566.21 per day in 2012 and his yearly salary is equal to what 116 university employees combined will make in a year (average salary of $45 758).

And he is probably worth it.

When Nick Saban is the head coach of your university’s football team you are guaranteed a few things.  You are guaranteed to be an elite program and compete for national championships.  You are guaranteed to see a massive spike in the revenue generated by your football program because everyone loves a winner.  With that large increase in revenue generated by the football program, the school will benefit greatly in other areas.  In 2011 the Alabama football program donated over $6.5 million to academic programs at the university.  Considering Saban’s salary is less than $6 million a year, I’d say the Crimson Tide got a bargain.

  1. vallogolfer says:

    Roll friggin TIDE!!!!

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