Alabama Football: Nick Saban’s bonus size does not matter

ATLANTA, GA - JANUARY 08: Head coach Nick Saban of the Alabama Crimson Tide celebrates beating the Georgia Bulldogs in overtime to win the CFP National Championship presented by AT
ATLANTA, GA - JANUARY 08: Head coach Nick Saban of the Alabama Crimson Tide celebrates beating the Georgia Bulldogs in overtime to win the CFP National Championship presented by AT /

Alabama football head coach Nick Saban received a much smaller bonus than other Tide coaches for winning the national championship. Yet, size does not matter.

It’s not about the size of the bonus, it’s how appreciated the coach is.

Nick Saban’s decision to switch his starting quarterback Jalen Hurts for freshman Tua Tagovailoa in the second half of Monday’s national championship game may go down as the greatest move in football history. Yet, Saban did not receive a financial reward for his efforts that matched his coaching staff.

ICYMI: Is Jalen Hurts the next Le’Veon Bell?

Alabama football ripped out the Georgia Bulldogs’ hearts when they came back to win in walk-off overtime fashion, 26-23. After the victory, Darren Rovell of ESPN recently tweeted a list of all Crimson Tide coaches who received bonuses for winning the national championship.

After seeing the list, some people may have felt that it was more of a mic drop for defensive coordinator Jeremy Pruitt and offensive coordinator Brian Daboll:

Is that a slap in the face? A man who just took the Tennessee Volunteers head coaching job is going to make $134 thousand more than Saban, the man who hired him and kept him on to finish the job in Atlanta. The defense came up big to keep the Crimson Tide in the game until Saban made the decision to switch his QBs, but does that warrant more of a bonus?

Sure, Pruitt’s defense woke up and earned four sacks, 12 tackles for a loss, and two interceptions; however, who decided to keep Pruitt around instead of showing him the door, a la Lane Kiffin last year?

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What about Daboll? A man whose playcalling seemed ridiculous to some doubters all season long until it became Tua Time? Only once Tagovailoa came into the game did Daboll stretch the Georgia defense deep to create a better balance between the passing and running games. Only because of Saban’s decision was Daboll’s offense able to put up 26 points and actually outplay Georgia’s offense by earning six more total yards by the end of the game. Does that mean Daboll deserves over $100 thousand more than the head coach?

According to the Associated Press, Saban makes “$11.125 million this year, counting a $4 million signing bonus and a $400,000 completion bonus.” He is the highest paid college football coach, with Clemson’s Dabo Swinney in second place with just over $8.5 million, according to USA Today. And, it is very possible that Saban could make another $65 million before he decides to retire.

In other words, Saban’s not sweating the small stuff.

Alabama football isn’t going to lose Nick Saban to the New York Giants or any rumored coaching job because of the size of his bonus. The national championship victory makes Saban tied with Paul ‘Bear Bryant’ with six total championship titles, five with the Crimson Tide and one with LSU. Saban is being paid more money coaching Alabama than many coaches in the NFL. There is no desire to leave financially or out of disrespect.

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If anything, the bonuses are a good thing for Saban. By the other coaches getting paid more money, it adds incentive for other quality coaches to want to work for him. Since the Saban dynasty at Alabama continues to look strong, with freshmen like Tagovailoa leading the charge, any assistant coach would love to work for a head coach who gets to the title game almost every year. It also gives them the opportunity to earn those big bonuses.

As long as Saban’s getting paid somehow and continues to get quality coaches working for him, what does he care?