This certainly won’t serve as fodder for the Nick Saban haters in the audience, will it? Nah. Of course it won’t.
In response to the coronavirus pandemic, the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) has doled out in the neighborhood of five million loans to small businesses. This facet of the stimulus package helps companies with 500 or fewer employees retain those workers by covering eight weeks worth of payroll expenses.
Which brings us to Nick Saban.
The Alabama head coach is part-owner of a string of car dealerships located in four states throughout the Southern U.S. called the Dream Motor Group. This week, the United State Small Business Administration, which oversees the PPP, released data on the companies that applied for and received loans through the program. And, according to Forbes.com, Dream Motor Group received between $5 million and $11 in PPP loans the past few months.
Before getting all bent out of shape, there’s more nuance to the story. From the report:
Saban is a partner in Dream Motor Group, which is run by CEO Joe Agresti.
Agresti says that the loan money was used only for payroll purposes, and that it kept his and Saban’s 480 workers employed. They’ve also continued to pay the roughly 9% of high-risk employees who they instructed to stay home since the pandemic began, he says. Agresti adds he hasn’t taken a salary since March. Saban doesn’t take a salary but instead receives a percentage of profits, Agresti explains. Saban did not reply to a request for comment.
“I’m proud of the way we handled it,” Agresti says. “I don’t know that we would be bankrupt today [if we didn’t take the money]. But it would have been bad.
Saban, of course, has done quite well financially as a football coach. In 2019, Saban’s $8.7 million salary was second in the country behind only the $9.3 million pulled in by Clemson’s Dabo Swinney. In July of 2018, Alabama announced a revamped contract that would pay Saban in the neighborhood of $75 million over eight years.
Not surprisingly, Saban is far from the only one connected to the sport to benefit from the PPP program. From SportsBusinessDaily.com:
In the college realm, Conference USA received a loan worth between $350,000 and $1M, which preserved 21 jobs. The National Football Foundation and College Football HOF, Ole Miss Athletics Foundation and National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) also received loans in the same range.
And then you have Tom Brady and his TB12 company as well. So there’s that.