Six months later, the new deal has been approved by the school's compensation committee, and we now know that anonymous source wasn't joking around.
According to ESPN.com's Alex Scarborough, Saban's new contract will pay him an NCAA-best $6.5 million in base salary per year through January 2022—a $1 million annual raise. Throw in yearly completion bonuses worth $400,000, and his entire deal beefs up to a massive $55.2 million.
Saban commented on the deal in a statement, via Scarborough:
We are honored by the commitment the University of Alabama has made to us with this new contract. It is certainly a mutual agreement in terms of our commitment to the University of Alabama. We will continue to work hard to keep our football program among the nation's elite.
According to AL.com's Michael Casagrande, the compensation committee passed the motion unanimously, and it's hard to blame them.
In seven seasons with the Crimson Tide, Saban has compiled a gaudy on-field record of 79-15 (.840) and brought three national championships to Tuscaloosa. Building college football's greatest current powerhouse, he has established himself as the best head coach in America.
As FOX Sports' Bruce Feldman and ESPN's Paul Finebaum argued, Saban's newest raise still might not have been large enough:
Unfortunately, as salaries continue to exponentially rise, the gap between head coaches and student athletes, who are a major part in raking in money for schools, will only increase.
There's little question Saban deserves his contract, but this will certainly further the ongoing debate surrounding NCAA amateurism.
For Alabama, though, none of that matters now. With Saban firmly entrenched on the sidelines for years to come, they can focus on returning to the top of the SEC and college football as a whole.
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