Alabama football head coach Nick Saban agreed to a three-year contract extension that will pay him a total of $11.125 million in 2017 - which includes a $4 million signing bonus. Saban's contract, which now runs through January, 2025, is worth a total of $65 million according to USA TODAY.
Colin Cowherd reacted to Saban's new deal on Tuesday's episode of The Herd, and argued that the record amount of money Saban will earn in 2017 isn't reason to call for college athletes to be paid.
Elite college coaches are hard to find
“In the NFL and in the NBA, most of the coaching is reasonably high-end. In college sports, it is not.
First of all, you’ve only got 30 NBA teams or baseball teams. There are very few elite jobs. There are only so many head coaching jobs in the NFL.
College? There’s 120 Division I programs. Well, there’s not going to be 120 great college football coaches. So the college coach, to me, is more valuable than the NFL coach.”
John David MercerJohn David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports
Nick Saban generates an incredible amount of revenue for his school
“I have no problem with what he makes. Alabama football generates $95 million dollars a year of commerce, and he makes 8.5 percent of it. So I’m sure this is just going to outrage people, it’ll rile up everybody. ‘How do you not pay college athletes?’
What does it matter what the coach makes? I grew up with Don James in Washington, he made half a million dollars a year. Nobody was clamoring for players to get paid then, why are clamoring for it now? It’s financial envy. They don’t like what Nick makes."
Bob RosatoRVR Photos-USA TODAY Sports
Coaches are the driving forces behind elite programs
"College football, the good programs now make $90 to $100 million dollars of revenue. And the coach, not the players, drive it. Alabama always has good players. USC, Oklahoma, Ohio State always have good players. The coach drives the program, not the players.
In the NFL, the quarterback drives the program. That’s why NFL quarterbacks should make a lot more than an NFL coach. Brady should make more than Belichick, and Belichick’s the best coach. But in college… it’s not driven by the players at Alabama. Alabama’s always got great players. They win and lose based on the coach."
Shanna LockwoodShanna Lockwood-USA TODAY Sports
Coaches like Saban are invaluable
"Think about this, Jim Harbaugh takes over Michigan. All those guys that just got drafted in the NFL? Those weren’t Harbaugh’s guys, they were Brady Hoke’s guys.
Jim Harbaugh took over a 5-7 team that had five blowout losses, same team next year goes 10-3, could have been 12-1. Two of their losses were winnable games, one possession.
So the college football coach is the NFL quarterback. He should be paid millions of dollars.
All you have to do is go look at the history of Oklahoma football, Alabama football, Michigan football. They’re as good as the coach. Even when the coach is bad, they’ve still got all sorts of good players in the program.
If there was a device in the world that could guarantee that your college football program could compete for national titles every year, all you had to pay for it was $7 million dollars, you’d do it in a heartbeat."
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