Alabama boosters paid $3.1 million so Nick Saban can have free mansion

Alabama coach Nick Saban makes a lot of money, but that means little to Crimson Tide supporters when it comes to keeping their head coach happy. 

According to al.com, in March 2013 the Crimson Tide Foundation, a private nonprofit founded to help fund Tide athletics, paid $3.1 million to buy Saban’s Tuscaloosa home.

Saban and his wife purchased the home in 2007 for $2.875 million. It has 8,759 square feet, four bedrooms, four-and-a-half bathrooms and sits on 1.26 acres.

Although the home is now property of Alabama boosters, the Sabans continue to live in it while the foundation pays the property taxes.

"It’s not all that unusual in the world for universities to provide the housing," Scott Phelps, assistant secretary of the foundation, told al.com. "We want to keep him happy. We think he is the best coach in America."

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This is the same arrangement legendary Bama coach Bear Bryant had with two different homes. Like Bryant, Saban can live in his house, free of charge, for as long as he wants including after he retires.

Saban signed a new longterm contract with Alabama earlier this year that will pay him $6.9 million per year, not including performance bonuses.

According to an NCAA spokeswoman in the al.com story, schools are free to design a coach’s compensation package how they see fit, and a foundation is allowed to compensate a coach if it chooses.