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Alabama ‘getting nervous about lack of response’ from Saban on new deal

Nick Saban AP

The story that shows no signs of going away seemingly adds another layer or two every hour on the hour.

Intertwined with the likely departure of Mack Brown from Texas at some point before the end of the week, speculation has once again centered on Nick Saban taking over as the Longhorns head coach.  A respected TCU beat writer, Stefan Stevenson, went so far as to state very plainly that the Alabama coach would be the next UT head coach, although he did soften that stance in a subsequent tweet by stating, “I’ll believe it when I see it.”

There are also reports that, as expected, Alabama is working on a new deal for Saban, but even that is causing some frayed nerves in the Yellowhammer State.

Posted to ESPN.com very early Wednesday morning, radio personality Paul Finebaum wrote that “Saban has had a contract extension on his desk since Friday.”  The issue is that, nearly a week later, the new deal, which would bump the pay of what’s already the nation’s highest-paid head coach into the $7 million-a-year range, is still unsigned.

“[T]he longer it goes unsigned, the more uncomfortable Alabama officials grow. … Alabama officials are getting nervous about the lack of response,” Finebaum wrote.

Saban and his wife have consistently shot down reports over the past couple of months connecting the four-time BCS title-winning coach to a potential opening in Austin.  Thanks to the way his departure from the Miami Dolphins played out, his words have thus far rang hollow — and will continue to do so even if he comes out again and states he’s staying in Tuscaloosa.

For what it’s worth, ESPN‘s Kirk Herbstreit was very emphatic when asked about the Saban-to-Texas rumors, saying the Longhorns should “immediately scratch” him off their coaching to-do list and look elsewhere.

“There’s no chance. No chance of that happening,” Herbstriet told the Dallas Morning News. “Nick Saban will work TV sitting next to us on our set before he’ll be the head coach at Texas … He’ll be at Alabama for another five years, and then he’ll be working TV after that … I know Nick Saban better than anybody. It’s not going to happen.”

I tend to agree.  This appears to be nothing more than Saban’s agent leveraging UT’s obvious interest in his client into a sweeter deal from UA, as if that’s actually necessary.

But, then again, the longer the smoke lingers, the more whatever fire is burning below will be stoked by the always-churning rumor mill machine.

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52 Responses to “Alabama ‘getting nervous about lack of response’ from Saban on new deal”
  1. canetic says: Dec 11, 2013 8:17 AM

    This is all a negotiating ploy. Saban knows that Bama is not going to pull their contract, if anything they are just going to add more money to it. Their nerves = money in his pocket. This happens every year.

  2. floridacock says: Dec 11, 2013 8:19 AM

    Money will not be the deciding factor. Both big, wealthy programs. It will come down to loyalty or a desire for another challenge?

  3. WingT says: Dec 11, 2013 8:23 AM

    Saban can’t stay silent much longer or else it will affect his recruiting ability .

    We will know very soon what he plans to do.

    I hope Kirk Herbstreit is right and he satys at Bama

    roll tide

  4. lbroberts123 says: Dec 11, 2013 8:25 AM

    Does anyone really think Herbstreit knows Saban more than anyone else?

  5. jrs45 says: Dec 11, 2013 8:27 AM

    Lmao!

  6. jeffroid says: Dec 11, 2013 8:34 AM

    Is this the same Herbstreit that said Miles was going to Michigan a few years ago?

  7. jdbaker01 says: Dec 11, 2013 8:38 AM

    Maybe Saban’s not coveting Mack Brown’s job after all, perhaps he’s coveting Lee Corso’s so he can spend more time with his BFF.

  8. watchfullhose says: Dec 11, 2013 8:39 AM

    But but but….sec?

  9. sportsguy3434 says: Dec 11, 2013 8:39 AM

    Longhorn fans will be so disappointed with anyone not named Saban…or Harbaugh now.

    Texas is shooting themselves in the foot. Maybe since Texas is saying Mack isn’t leaving they should say Saban isn’t coming. Oh wait that means they would botg happen.

  10. WingT says: Dec 11, 2013 8:42 AM

    Saban would be crazy to leave Alabama, where he has total control of all aspects of the football program.

    He will not get that level of control anywhere else

  11. jmb795 says: Dec 11, 2013 8:44 AM

    Posturing all ’round.

  12. jdbaker01 says: Dec 11, 2013 9:14 AM

    If Saban leaves then I say we go for Dave Doeren from NC State. Let’s get a young coach who is an up and comer. I think this guy’s done good work.

  13. amosalanzostagg says: Dec 11, 2013 9:19 AM

    Dantonio from MSU would be a great choice.

  14. noaxetogrind says: Dec 11, 2013 9:23 AM

    I think Saban is a great coach, but I also don’t think he is as great as the hysteria that is taking place in Austin and Tuscaloosa. He has won national titles at LSU and Alabama, both places had won national titles before he got there and in the case of LSU, have won them since he left. If he leaves Bama, the program won’t implode, they will win another one at some point in time. Alabama has by far and away the largest off the field staff in the country. TWENTY FOUR coaches and ex coaches employed in off the field jobs such as analysts, recruiting jobs and quality control. It isn’t like Saban doesn’t also have the largest support machine in college athletics helping to achieve these results. I believe there are multiple coaches out there given the same resources that would have similar results. For Bama or Texas to feel they have to pay a guy $7 Million a year or more I think is ridiculous. There is no bigger fan of college football than myself. I am one that has personally greatly beneifitted from big time college football in terms of a scholarship, graduate school paid for and then going into coaching but there is a threshold of common sense. Saban is good but it’s not like he went to Vandy or Wake Forest and won a National Championship. If you coach at schools like Bama, LSU, Texas, Florida, USC, and several others, you should compete and win National Championships, you have all the requisite ingredients. It will be interesting to sit and watch all this play out and please don’t interpret my thoughts as saying Saban is a bad guy for taking the money. It’s more a case of I think some of these schools have lost their grasp on reality and perhaps a little of their moral compass.

  15. tdub821 says: Dec 11, 2013 9:34 AM

    Does UT really want Satan representing their program?

  16. manik56 says: Dec 11, 2013 9:35 AM

    Remember when Herbie declared Les Miles to be the next head coach at Michigan? I would go elsewhere for news reporting.

  17. bender4700 says: Dec 11, 2013 9:37 AM

    First, Herstreit said Miles was going to Michigan, and he was, but Herbie helped shut that down. There’s a reason Herbie ran with the story so quickly.

    Second, either Saban is going to Texas, or he and his wife are trying to get everyone in Tuscaloosa to appreciate them more.

    I personally think he’s leaving for Texas, but if he stays, signs a new deal that takes him to $7 mil, it’s clear they were just trying to scare the fans/media so they start “appreciating” him more.

  18. halbert53 says: Dec 11, 2013 9:40 AM

    Although the UT program has been underperforming in recent years, it is not like rebuilding a stagnant program that has generally struggled 10-20 years like for example Ole Miss. UT has the recruit base, facilities, money, in short all the infrastructure is there for long-term sustained success.

    Hiring Saban would make a splash but is the wrong move. The transition from one coach to another at traditional football powers is not easy. FSU knew Bowden was near the end of his rope, so they brought in Jimbo Fisher from LSU as coach in waiting. Bowden didn’t want to go when he was shoved aside, but FSU had the foresight to have its new coach already on board and didn’t miss a beat.

    Several Texas teams have made big improvements in facilities, personnel and quality of teams in recent years. A&M is the only Texas school in the SEC, so Texas recruits wanting to stay in state and play in the SEC have one choice. UT can still get great recruits, but those recruits now have viable alternatives.

    Saban is good for 3-5 more years, then a whole new search would have to be done. UT needs to hire a younger coach who could potentially coach 10-15 years much like Brown did.

  19. sportsguy3434 says: Dec 11, 2013 9:48 AM

    Don’t underestimate what a good coach does for a school. If a GOOD coach can win NC at Florida, USC, Texas, LSU, Alabama, etc. then why do they go through periods of loosing and coaching change? Ask the schools. Great coaches make a difference. Look at how the enrollment has shot up at Alabama, especially the out of $tate enrollment. I still don’t think he will leave, but he revived the programs.

  20. normtide says: Dec 11, 2013 9:52 AM

    Noaxe- I totally get your point. But the reason salaries increase is because winning big brings a fiscal windfall. Just like any other market, the bubble will burst at some point. Not to mention, for reason we can argue later, winning in football increases enrollment from posting students. Add that to increased alumni donations, and paying 5 mill plus is an investment that pays handsomely. If doing so lost money, cash strapped universities would stop. People said the same thing for years about pro athletes being paid multi-millions to play a game. And, now it’s accepted.

    I’ve always said, if Saban wants to leave, he should go. I want a coach that wants to be there. It’s that simple. If he does leave, I fully expect Kirby Smart to get the first offer. Hee has been with Saban longer then any assistant has. He knows what it takes and can handle the work load. Expect Bama to hire a defensive minded coach who is a disciplinarian.

    So far it looks like posturing, an agent earning his money. But, this is a lot of smoke for there to be no fire. Then again, this is the program that paid for an A&M billboard in Florida. That was pretty redneck of them.

  21. bigdinla says: Dec 11, 2013 9:53 AM

    Very simple reason Saban hasn’t signed new contract. He is out doing in house visits. He is on his 6 state in 7 days. Won’t be back to Tuscaloosa until dead period starts.

  22. warrior54470 says: Dec 11, 2013 10:14 AM

    Hey Texas, I heard a guy named Kiffin was looking for a job!!….:):)

  23. globeflyer says: Dec 11, 2013 10:16 AM

    Anyone who follows college football knows this is about drama. Saban has been flying all over the East Coast recruiting since the Iron Bowl loss. He also stated, on television, that the way he left Miami is his biggest regret. In addition, his wife publicly stated “we’re not going anywhere”. The icing on the cake? He is about to become a grandfather to a kid who will be living in Tuscaloosa. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure that out, but the writers have gotta have something to write about. With the way the Sabans have donated money to local charities, any raise is sure to have local implications as well.

  24. mediocrebob says: Dec 11, 2013 10:19 AM

    I don’t think anyone on here can say ‘with clarity’ what Saban is planning on doing or not doing. You all can hope he leaves Bama for Texas, but you’d all be hating Texas in 2-3 years when he’d be dominating there.

    IMHO, it doesn’t make sense for him to leave to me. He’s no young pup anymore. But then again, nobody knows what he wants. Not even Herbie

  25. maddog111 says: Dec 11, 2013 10:38 AM

    amosalanzostagg says:
    Dec 11, 2013 9:19 AM
    Dantonio from MSU would be a great choice.

    ———————————————-
    Is Alabama looking for a coach with even less personalty? If so, yes, good choice.

  26. tdub821 says: Dec 11, 2013 10:44 AM

    Dantonio from little brother MSU would be a joke.

  27. wadaea says: Dec 11, 2013 11:01 AM

    Famous quote: just give me one more second

  28. celwell11 says: Dec 11, 2013 11:18 AM

    tdub821…. Little brother is going to the Rose Bowl, and beat #2 OSU!!

  29. tdub821 says: Dec 11, 2013 11:37 AM

    ohio was and is overrated…and little brother has not played anyone, especially in a weak B1G…lets see how they do against a real team like Stanford…I always love the inferiority complex that little brother has with Michigan. (Go Irish).

  30. wisconsinhillfolk says: Dec 11, 2013 11:43 AM

    Remember when Saban was HC at Little Brother U? He left because they had no commitment to winning. Still don’t. Going to a RB once every 26 years is the height of achievement for that program and its fans.

  31. Deb says: Dec 11, 2013 11:49 AM

    So many potential areas to touch on in comments, but I’m stuck on why Kirk Herbstreit thinks he knows Nick Saban “better than anybody.” Really? Have you worked with him? Did you play for him? Do your families spend Christmas together? What is the source of this deep, abiding friendship?

  32. Deb says: Dec 11, 2013 11:59 AM

    A lot has been made of Terry Saban’s comments about fans being unappreciative when the team wins too much. Let’s put those comments in context. She was referring to the empty seats in the student section of the stadium, which has been driving Nick nuts.

    Time was when most Alabama students were from Alabama and lifetime Tide fans. That’s no longer the case. The percentage of out-of-state students–particularly students from the Northeast–has increased dramatically in the last few years. Those students don’t have ties to the football team, anymore than I had ties to the Mizzou football team. Bama fans travel very well–but those fans aren’t students. The university can easily solve the problem by changing how tickets are distributed and allowing the community more access to unclaimed student tickets.

    The stories about Terry wanting a more “cosmopolitan” lifestyle make little sense. She lived in one of the most cosmopolitan cities in the world–Miami–and was miserable. Austin pales by comparison to South Florida when it comes to upscale lifestyle. If the Sabans decide to leave Tuscaloosa, it won’t be because Terry wanted to move uptown or because the fans didn’t appreciate them.

  33. philliesblow says: Dec 11, 2013 12:06 PM

    tdub821 says: Dec 11, 2013 10:44 AM

    Dantonio from little brother MSU would be a joke.
    __________________________

    Well, if anyone is an expert on coaches that are jokes it would have to be a fan of the team run by Fred Flintstone.

    29 – 6

  34. dwoodby32404 says: Dec 11, 2013 1:30 PM

    As much as the coaches in NCAAF are making, they are not really in line with CEOs of corporations generating the same amount of revenue.

    If Saban leaves, it will be for reasons other than money. The University of Alabama’s Athletic Department reports a 43% increase in revenue since he was hired. The University will match any requirement Saban has.

  35. halbert53 says: Dec 11, 2013 4:14 PM

    Doubt if Saban leaves because of his age. If he were 5-10 years younger, wouldn’t surprise me one bit but that would be OK.

    Would be very surprised if Art Briles or Kevin Sumlin were hired.

    Don’t like Jim Mora but I could see him getting hired.

    But I would keep an eye out for Hugh Freeze from Ole Miss.

  36. chiggerticky says: Dec 11, 2013 4:38 PM

    “Thanks to the way his departure from the Miami Dolphins played out, his words have thus far rang hollow —” John, that past participle should be “rung” . . . “have rung hollow.”

  37. fsu01 says: Dec 11, 2013 5:03 PM

    I am not the SEC hater that some are in these rooms, but I am also not a fan of some of the arrogant SEC fans. I would like to see Saban remain at Alabama. Reason for this is I would not like to see Alabama go back to where they were between Stallings and Saban. I like it when the traditional programs are doing well. Having said that I would like to see a new coach emerge someone that is a coordinator or assistant now. At FSU we did not go after the hot shot already head coach, went after an assistant with Coach Fisher and he emerged. Would like to see newer coaches get a shot at emerging.

  38. Deb says: Dec 11, 2013 5:23 PM

    @fsu01 …

    That was a good post.

  39. hor2012 says: Dec 11, 2013 8:26 PM

    bigdinla says:
    Dec 11, 2013 9:53 AM
    Very simple reason Saban hasn’t signed new contract. He is out doing in house visits. He is on his 6 state in 7 days. Won’t be back to Tuscaloosa until dead period starts.

    I think you’re desperate. Nick Saban may be leaving Bama for Texas. The truth is he gets bored. He wants the challenge of winning another title at another school. I think Saban is the Larry Brown of football. He just isn’t going to be satisfied anywhere for long.

  40. doggeatdogg says: Dec 11, 2013 8:29 PM

    He left Miami in a bad way. Many there were happy to see him go, mainly because he seemed a bad fit, but he I can’t imagine a repeat situation so he will be more careful about his exit from Tuscaloosa if that is where his decision is going.

    The wife visiting Texas home shopping does fan the flames and this is unfortunate because they have the rights to some privacy. Then again, Alabama fans have the right to know this second if they have their coach.

    I think Saban and family want to coach a bit more, retire, and continue to live in the community they retire from with the mother of all golden parachutes. Austin may be more appealing. At least those fans should take comfort he won’t be chasing another girl in 3 0r 4 years.

  41. rolltide1537 says: Dec 12, 2013 8:15 AM

    Bama Fans don’t forget we have a great coach behind Coach Saban at Alabama,, Coach Kirby Smart. So I’m not worrying about what if this or what if that.

  42. schaefer692002 says: Dec 12, 2013 9:29 AM

    Dear Texas, Please hire Mike Tomlin!!!! Today!

  43. sprizzle2182 says: Dec 12, 2013 11:01 AM

    this bama fan isnt worried…its almost the dead period in recruiting and saban has to get to all our targets and let them know the TRUTH about him NOT going to texas…everyone knows that recruiting is the life blood of the team and with all the crud Texas is stirring up he’s in damage control..the offer from bama isn’t going anywhere so he’s not worried about singing it..our athletic director has stated the same thing…TAMU’s HC hasnt signed his extension yet either, its not that big of a deal…lol…another media report trying to spin the lies out of austin into some kind of truth…ROLL TIDE!!

  44. sprizzle2182 says: Dec 12, 2013 11:04 AM

    bigdinla says: Dec 11, 2013 9:53 AM

    Very simple reason Saban hasn’t signed new contract. He is out doing in house visits. He is on his 6 state in 7 days. Won’t be back to Tuscaloosa until dead period starts.

    finally another person whos seeing clearly!! lol

  45. sprizzle2182 says: Dec 12, 2013 11:06 AM

    this is the last thing im going to say about all this…
    the biggest reason why texas wont get saban is bc Texas has proven just how many people have their hands and noses in the business of the team…at BAMA saban answers to no1, our boosters keep their mouths shut and their wallets handy…texas’ regents have caused more headaches and clutter for saban than anyone at bama and he’s not even the coach there..they have started rumors of house hunting that he had to shoot down, they have leaked emails between brothers falsely quoting saban’s agent from a year ago that he had to talk about…saban is a control freak who doesnt like clutter getting in the way of his passion which is recruiting and coaching…since we lost the IB everyone in the state of texas who is a longhorn fan has done nothing but use our loss as a tool to stir these stories into some kind of truth that isnt there…saban and brown are friends and saban has had to defend himself from “trying to steal his friends job”…you actually think any of this makes him want to come there???

  46. crisper57 says: Dec 12, 2013 1:55 PM

    I’ve had a conversation with one of the six “friends of the program” that actually run UT football. On Thanksgiving, he told me that Saban going to Texas was a “done deal”.

    $8 million per year.

    The knock on Mac was his recruiting in state, especially QB’s. He is done for that reason more than his record.

  47. dhardy8207 says: Dec 12, 2013 2:01 PM

    “radio personality Paul Finebaum wrote that “Saban has had a contract extension on his desk since Friday.” The issue is that, nearly a week later, the new deal, which would bump the pay of what’s already the nation’s highest-paid head coach into the $7 million-a-year range, is still unsigned.”
    ————————————————–

    He’s also on the recruiting trail according to Battle the AD. Saban by all accounts is a pretty thorough guy so if he’s been out of town trying to recruit then he certainly couldn’t give his full attention to disecting a new contract.

    I like Finebaum but his #1 concern is the ratings for his show. How better to get higher ratings than to keep stirring the pot of anticipation over whats going to happen next….

  48. southernpatriots says: Dec 12, 2013 2:12 PM

    I cannot see Saban moving to another program when he has total control of the football program at the University of Alabama, as he and Mel Moore set it up. He would have to start over at Texas or anywhere else.

    I would miss Saban if the decided to move out of the SEC. Some love Saban and some love to hate Saban. Few people are ambivalent about Nick Saban.

    I think probably he is just wanting to review carefully the new contract extension offer and will amend it where he feels appropriate and will agree to it eventually.

    I think some opposing team fans are having fun tweaking Tide fans over this media promoted “uncertainty.” I don’t think anything about this is in truth uncertain. Saban stays in Tuscaloosa.

  49. crisper57 says: Dec 12, 2013 2:23 PM

    I think some opposing team fans are having fun tweaking Tide fans over this media promoted “uncertainty.” I don’t think anything about this is in truth uncertain. Saban stays in Tuscaloosa.

    I’m not reading anything the media writes about this situation. I just repeat what a major UI Booster told me. “Saban is a done deal.” Has been since Thanksgiving.

    The Iron Bowl loss just gift-wrapped him a reason to go.

    And no, Bama can’t match UT’s money. $8 million per year was their opening bid, not their final offer.

  50. Deb says: Dec 12, 2013 3:05 PM

    @southernpatriots …

    Thank you for posting such a fair comment. My instinct is that he’s not leaving–he’s been out recruiting all week and will likely be in New York with A.J. on Saturday. But I’m fairly cynical about human nature so nothing would surprise me.

    The last time I was broken up over a departure was when Rod Woodson left the Steelers in early 1997. Swore then I’d never get overly attached to any individual connected to my one of my teams (well, other than the Rooneys themselves). And I won’t. Whatever happens, happens :)

  51. kyle61879 says: Dec 12, 2013 11:04 PM

    Remember Texas has no state income tax so Texas has a slight edge in that area. Maybe half a mill?

  52. dhardy8207 says: Dec 15, 2013 11:03 AM

    Crisper57 says;

    “I’m not reading anything the media writes about this situation. I just repeat what a major UI Booster told me. “Saban is a done deal.” Has been since Thanksgiving.

    The Iron Bowl loss just gift-wrapped him a reason to go.

    And no, Bama can’t match UT’s money. $8 million per year was their opening bid, not their final offer.”
    ————————————————–
    1) Uumm didn’t you respond to Deb somewhere on another thread that you were one of the check writers? Looks like for all that inside knowledge you had there might want to hold off on writing that check…

    2) No, the Iron Bowl was a typical rival game and BAMA fought played all 4 quarters. He has said many times on record that he can handle losing if the players play like they want to win all 4 quarters.

    3) Obviously “matching” BAMA’s offer isn’t the problem for luring Saban to UT. Also as much as the “socialite” card was played describing Mrs. Terry, she’s decided its best to hobnob with real people and not elite of Texas….

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