Fans will pay for escalating salaries of coaches

Published 12:00 am Saturday, January 6, 2007

The University of Alabama snagged itself a football coach, for certain sure. And that football coach, Nick Saban, snagged himself one heck of a deal - an eight year contract worth a reported $32 million and the keys to a resplendent crimson and white mansion; a mansion of legendary players and big game victories, of SEC and National Championships, of pride and pageantry; a mansion once belonging to one of college football's most legendary coaches, Paul &#8220Bear” Bryant.

What would the &#8220Bear” - dead since 1982 - say of Alabama's deal with Saban?

More than likely - after reviewing the past 10 years of Price, of Shula, of Dubose and Franchione - the old coach would probable grumble that Alabama did the only thing it could do: Set its eyes on the prize and nab itself a winner.

Nick Saban, he of the Miami Dolphins and the LSU Tigers and the Michigan State Spartans, will be paid an annual income of approximately $4 million to coach the Crimson Tide. Alabama's deal with Saban now makes him the highest paid collegiate coach in the nation.

While we can't fault Alabama for reaching deep into its coffers to secure Saban, the university's actions ensure that the happiest people the day Saban signed his contract were collegiate coaches themselves. Salaries are sure to escalate from this day forward.

Which means the cost - either through alumni donations, game day attendance and ticket sales, concessions, parking, etc. - of supporting your team just got more expensive.