Alabama Football: It’s time to give Nick Saban a lifetime contract

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports /

If a school can give a head coach a lifetime contract for the wrong reasons, it is time for Alabama Football Head Coach, Nick Saban to have one for the right reasons. A valid argument can be made Saban deserves it because he is the greatest college football coach of all-time. That is reason enough to award the man with a lifetime deal.

There are other, more practical and strategic reasons for Alabama Athletic Director, Greg Byrne and Alabama President, Stuart Bell to make such a decision.

Kansas recently announced it is giving its basketball coach, Bill Self a lifetime contract. On the surface, it appears Kansas is doing it for the wrong reasons. The backlash from the decision is intense, including this from Pat Forde of

"That was the loud, clear, unmistakable message from Kansas on Friday. We like to win, we don’t care how, we don’t care what NCAA sanctions may come, we don’t care about anything but continuing to win.… at least Kansas isn’t trying to be something it’s not. It is admitting that winning is all that matters and skipping the pretense."

Kansas recently parted ways with football coach, Les Miles, for what he has been accused of doing at LSU. It also sent the man who hired Miles, Jeff Long, packing as well. Before those actions, Kansas was trying to maintain its stature as a college basketball blue blood while facing potential penalties for five, Level One, NCAA violations.

The SI story provides the detail of the NCAA investigation, that followed the FBI investigation into college basketball. If the NCAA has any respect for its enforcement process, it will punish Kansas. The punishment could be severe, including multiple years of no post-season play and a show-cause levied against Self that would force a suspension.

Apparently Self wanted some protection for his employment and security and Kansas was willing to provide it.

Alabama Football should give Nick Saban a Lifetime Contract

There is absolutely nothing like the Kansas situation taking place in Tuscaloosa. Nick Saban does not need a vote of confidence. He has already earned the right to coach Alabama Football as long as he wishes. Another school or NFL team is not going to lure Nick Saban away from Tuscaloosa.

So why the need for a lifetime contract? Because at some point, hopefully, many years from now, Nick Saban will be interested in stepping down from coaching. Every season until then, opposing coaches will recruit against the Crimson Tide by claiming Saban’s retirement is imminent. To counter that, Greg Byrne can give Saban a deal assuring an ongoing role in the Alabama Football program, for as long as Saban wants. As he chooses, Saban can tell recruits, he will be actively involved in Alabama football player development indefinitely. He can also explain part of that development role will be advising them on their path to the NFL.

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A lifetime contract for Saban is not necessary. He might not even want one. But, it would be a good decision for the University of Alabama