Deion Sanders Compares Alabama HC Nick Saban to Michael Jordan, LeBron James

Paul KasabianFeatured Columnist IIAugust 24, 2022

Michael Wade/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Pro Football Hall of Famer and Jackson State football head coach Deion Sanders provided lofty praise to Alabama head coach Nick Saban in the wake of him becoming the highest-paid college football coach in the country.

Sanders made the remarks on SportsCenter with host Sage Steele and Saban also part of the conversation (h/t 247Sports' Dean Straka).

"Coach Saban is our magna cum laude (of coaching). He is our guy. You would not have questioned Michael Jordan and you don't question LeBron (James) when they are given a contract of this status. We should never question him. I love what he is doing. I love the bar he has set. Every opportunity I get to sit with him on this wonderful Aflac set, I'm gleaning from him just some of the fruit and nuggets he's able to spit to me. I'm happy. Well deserved. No one, I wish I wouldn't catch anyone saying anything about the contract Saban has warranted. He is the GOAT."

Alabama's board of trustees has approved an eight-year, $93.6 million contract for Saban, per Aaron Suttles of The Athletic. His $11.7 million average annual salary is now the standard in college football.

Saban's college football resume stands alone in the sport's history. His teams have won seven national titles (six Alabama, one LSU) and 10 SEC crowns (eight Alabama, two LSU). Saban holds a 269-67-1 record over four stops at Toledo (1990), Michigan State (1995-1999), LSU (2000-2004) and Alabama (2007 to present date).

The 70-year-old nearly became the first college football coach to earn a nine-figure deal, but he's deserving of the most lucrative annual contract in the sport thanks to his tremendous track record. His Crimson Tide enter this year as the consensus No. 1 team and the championship favorites.

Sanders has done quite well for himself in just two years at Jackson State. The former star NFL defensive back led the Tigers to an 11-2 record and a SWAC title. He also earned the Eddie Robinson Award, given to the best coach at the Division I-FCS level.

The future looks bright for the HBCU football program as well: Of note, Sanders was able to recruit the No. 1 prospect in the class of 2022 in Travis Hunter, who was set to go to Florida State.

Saban's Crimson Tide ultimately stands as the gold standard, but Sanders is doing great work in his own right as Jackson State continues its college football ascension.


The latest in the sports world, emailed daily.