Nick Saban signs extension but raises questions

Nick Saban has signed a contract extension this year that will pay him $11.1 million in 2017 as part of an eight-year deal that will pay the coach a total of $65 million – and that’s before bonuses that could pay him another $700,000 per year until 2024.

Also seeing their salaries bumped are new AD Greg Byrne (who only took the job in June), as well as his assistants, led by co-defensive co-ordinator Tosh Lupoi, who will earn $950,000, while new offensive co-ordinator Brian Dobell has re-signed until January 2020 in a $1.2 million salary deal.


Saban’s record at Alabama is stunning – 119-19 over the last 10 years, with four of those years leading the Crimson Tide to a National Championship.

During his tenure at Alabama Saban has not been immune from the loss of co-ordinators, who have gone on to varying successes. Former OC Jim McElwain is the head coach of Florida, former DC Kirby Smart is the head coach of Georgia and most recently, OC Lane Kiffin in the head coach of Florida Atlantic University, while offensive line coach and recruiter supreme Mario Cristobal is now the co-offensive co-ordinator at Oregon.

The deal is great for Saban, his family, for Alabama fans still worrying he might leave for Texas, and of course, his agent Jimmy Sexton, who should be pocketing a tidy amount for the negotiation.

Alabama and other schools

In the time that Saban has been in charge of Alabama, the school has made more than $100m from football – which is absolutely stunning. And football’s success and the subsequent financial income has meant good news for the other non-revenue-making sports ‘on the Alabama roster’, which are being kept afloat by the thousands of fans buying tickets, shirts, hats and probably pets called ‘Crimson’ just for bathing in the light of the pigskin.

Oh, and rival schools – whether they like to say it or not – probably love Saban’s success, because every time the Crimson Tide come to town there is more fanfare than a Royal Wedding in Britain, leading to higher TV exposure. The SEC certainly loves Alabama’s success – Saban’s made the conference look better. ESPN and CBS have enjoyed the Crimson Tide for viewing figure purposes, and those charming people on the secondary market who concentrate on Tuscaloosa games are probably driving Mercs.

But what about the students?

The biggest annoyance we have with a deal like this for Saban is that Alabama players over the years of Saban’s multi-million dollar success have been paid exactly $0. Of course, there are stipends (and we suspect under-the-table ‘players’ donations’ given by boosters (it being the SEC), but that’s nothing if you consider what Alabama has made in terms of sports revenue.

Of course, the likes of Paul Finebaum and many Alabama fans will argue that Saban’s contract is worth it, and we’d agree – if you are thinking about the price paid by the university itself. There are a ton of players who have profited from Saban’s teaching, too. Especially the 22 first round picks who played for Saban in Tuscaloosa (65 in total have gone pro).

But there are a ton of players who have played for Saban and have come out with exactly nothing, while their coach has reaped the financial rewards.

I’m sorry, but that doesn’t seem right.


South Carolina to have two DCs in 2015, reports say

South Carolina is to have two defensive co-ordinators for the team next year, reports say.

John Hoke, who comes from the NFL and has most recently been with Chicago, will come on board to coach USC’s passing defense, and current DC Lorenzo Ward will coach the Gamecocks rushing defense.

Ward worked for Steve Spurrier at Florida between 1999-2001, the report from says.

The decision comes as a little bit of a break for Ward, who was in charge of a USC defense that gave up 30.4 points-per-game last year, “good” for 91st in the country. A lot of people felt that Ward would be given his marching orders in the off-season.

The decision was going to be announced on Thursday, but there was a murder-suicide on campus which was obviously more important.



Pinkel getting new deal from Missouri

Missouri is giving head coach Gary Pinkel a new deal, reports have said.

According to, sources have said that a deal will be in place shortly. It has to be approved by University of Missouri bureaucrats before it can be fully announced.

The report said that the deal will propel Pinkel into the $3m-per-year bracket.

It added:”His current contract, signed in April 2011, pays him a base salary $2.35 million annually and was set to run through the 2017 season. Pinkel earned an additional $300,000 in incentives during the 2013 season. The length of the new deal is unknown at this time.

The deal would provide stability for Pinkel and the University of Missouri. Pinkel is one of the lowest-paid head coaches in the SEC.

Last year Missouri won the SEC East, but lost the SEC Championship Game to Auburn. They won the Cotton Bowl against Oklahoma State 41-31.

South Carolina comes in with solid National Signing Day haul

With Jadeveon Clowney and three other juniors going to the pros – as well as talisman quarterback Connor Shaw- South Carolina needed to shore up their class with an excellent National Signing Day…..and did.

A lot of the big signings were on the defensive side.

Steve Spurrier picked up DE Dante Sawyer, LB Bryson Allen-Williams and defensive tackle Dexter Wideman – who had committed earlier to Florida State – and reports have said that they expect DE Jhaustin Thomas to make an impact, too.

Four-star Defensive back Chris Lammons came aboard, and DE Blake McClain, who was meant to be going to Nebraska, decided that he preferred the Palmetto State as well.

On the offensive side, the Head Ball Coach lost his battle for QB Drew Barker to Kentucky, but Barker wouldn’t have started anyway….that’ll be Dylan Thompson, who’s already installed as the pocket passer of this Spurrier generation.

Still, they added WRs Shaquille Davidson and Terry Googan to the fold to make things easier for Thompson.

But when everyone’s not leaving Columbia for the NFL in their junior year, things are a little easier year-on-year for Spurrier.

South Carolina rocketed up the rankings at the end of play, moving up 8 to 15 by the end of the day with 247.


Clowney has $5m insurance policy

South Carolina defensive end and All-American Jadeveon Clowney has a $5 million insurance policy should he get injured in the 2013 season, it has been reported.

The policy – which will be paid out via the NCAA should anything go awry next season – will be paid for by family members, and protect against future . The cost is $30,000.

Reply to Charleston Post-Courier writer Daryl Slater’s report, Paul Myerberg of USA Today noted that the policy was the largest available to players.

The insurance company offering the policy is HCC, based in Cincinnati.

On South Carolina’s website, they said: “Student athletes can receive up to $5m in coverage, up from $4.4m in basketball and $3m in football.”

The NCAA says on its site: “This program will provide the student-athlete with the opportunity to protect against future loss of earnings as a professional athlete, due to a disabling injury or sickness that may occur during the collegiate career.”

It adds: “The condition of disability can be determined when the following criteria have been met: * The student-athlete’s disability results from an injury or sickness, * The student-athlete’s injury or sickness occurs while the policy is in force, * The student-athlete is under the regular care of a qualified physician, * The student-athlete is unable to engage in sporting activity at the professional level, * The applicable elimination period has elapsed, and * The student-athlete’s total disability prevents him or her from signing any employment contract with any professional team as a professional athlete in his or her sporting activity.”

However, the NCAA’s catastrophic injury program (one can only assume that a ‘catastrophic injury’ is one where a player doesn’t walk again)- as set out by the NCAA on its website – has said that the maximum benefit amount per covered accident for all benefits combined is $20m.

Johnny Manziel at Texas A&M has taken out a similar policy.

Clowney created waves earlier this off-season when there was talk of him perhaps sitting out the 2013 season because of the fact that a potential injury could derail his Top 10 draft pick hopes (and let’s face it, he’s the best pass-rusher in college football right now).


Six reasons why Jadeveon Clowney WON’T to sit out 2013

Many congratulations, Tom Sorenson. You wrote an article about why Jadeveon Clowney should sit out the 2013 season, and you set yourself alight in the Twittersvere, the Facebookvere, and certainly, in the SEC.

In his article, Sorenson basically said that he should sit out South Carolina’s 2013 season, because a) if it was any other sport, he’d be professional by now, and b) if he gets injured, he’ll cheat himself out of a big-time NFL contract, that’s definitely going to come to him in the draft of 2014.

The reason why he’s got to play three years is the fact that the NFL’s rule “stipulates that a player must be at least three years removed from high school before he’s eligible for the draft.

Let’s be honest, I don’t expect Jadeveon Clowney to sit out the 2013 season because of ‘forward-thinking money issues’. Moreover,  I don’t expect Steve Spurrier to say: “Hey Jadeveon, you’ve done really well for the last two years. Please – as the lynchpin of our defense and our SEC Championship hopes – don’t play the next season.” And I don’t expect South Carolina fans say that, either.

Having said that, we can imagine Georgia and Florida fans certainly trying to direct Clowney that way! And don’t expect a lawyer Dawgs fan to be actively lobbying the NFL for a change to their three-year rule.

But shall we quickly get back to the point  – does anyone really expect Clowney not to play the 2013 SEC season? No. Here’s why:

1) Firstly, Clowney is still pretty raw. He’s not the perfect product. He still needs another year in the Lorenzo Ward system, and if you watch the LSU game, you’ll know that when more intelligent quarterbacks/ offensive schemers read his aggressiveness, they can pass it with screens and slants.

2) The pride thing. Clowney’s got more pride than to simply refuse to play a year.

3) The money thing. Does anyone honestly believe that NFL owners/GMs/head coaches will say: “Hey, don’t worry about the 2013 season. You were great for two years. Here’s $21m.” Or the marketing men who will make Clowney the face of the young NFL? Or the agents who will find it difficult to sell two years of Clowney rather than three.

4) The Carolina/SEC thing. South Carolina fans and boosters would be absolutely enraged with the decision. So would Steve Spurrier.

5)  The SEC thing. After all, Clowney’s become a bit of a poster boy for how the SEC dominates other conferences. I wish I was the marketing guy at the SEC. I would do a film of Clowney’s tackle against Michigan and then put out this script: “Welcome to SEC country, other conferences.” They certainly don’t want Clowney to be a poster boy for sitting out to save his money.

6) The precedent thing. Should Clowney sit out, this could well trigger a precedent in college football, where players who believe that they are good enough to only play two years in college and go to the pros sit out their third year with the line: “I just don’t want to get injured”. It would then become bad for college football – and the game itself.


Spurrier gets new contract extension from South Carolina

After a 10-2 season that included a victories over hated rivals Clemson and Georgia, the South Carolina Gamecocks have given a two-year contract extension to College Football’s greatest golfing football coach, Steve Spurrier through the 2017 season.

Unlike Les Miles’ deal with LSU, Spurrier’s deal with South Carolina did not see a salary raise – although he’s going to earn $3.3m in 2013, which is quite handy. He should be able to buy some drinks for Stephen Garcia with that…

We’re almost surprised that Spurrier won’t pass comment on the radio about his extension: “Well, if Les Miles agent hadn’t called that website, perhaps he wouldn’t have gotten a raise at all….”

There were some great stories/remarks doing the rounds about Spurrier at the SEC Championship Game, from Georgia fans.

Amongst them:

“He only became the Carolina coach because someone offered him a membership at Augusta and full use of the Gamecocks plane” – Georgia fan

“What happened to him in the real Death Valley?” – LSU fan

“Well, he’s got our number, and has done for years ” – Georgia fan

“We hate him” – SEC fans all over.

And Texas A&M/Missouri fans, you’ll learn to hate Spurrier too – especially if he has your number.


Les Miles signs new contract with LSU

A couple of things happened today that you should be listening to.

After the furore involving Les Miles and a $5m-a-year, 5 year contract with Arkansas, LSU announced that Les Miles has signed a seven-year contract extension with the university.

Miles will earn $4.9m annually to be the Tigers head coach, according to the linked report.

Miles said: “I’m a LSU head coach and will be a LSU head coach for as long as I can be. Hopefully, we’ll look up seven years from now and I’ll be looking for another seven-year extension.”

BOTTOM LINE: It’s not exactly surprising that Miles’ pay raise came at the time that rumors were circulating that Arkansas had reached out to the Mad Hatter. It may well have been Miles’ agent putting out the word to SportsbyBrooks, or other sources, in an effort to drive up his client’s wages. Anyway, the deal’s in place with LSU, and this can only be good for LSU Football.

Georgia extends Richt’s contract

The Georgia Bulldogs have extended the contract of their sometime under-fire coach, Mark Richt, the school announced today.

The three-year extension will mean that Richt – who still has two years running onto his contract – will stay with the Dawgs until the 2016 season – if he’s not let go (which is always a risk in the SEC).

Last year Richt led Georgia from a 0-2 hole to winning the SEC East. They played well in the SEC Championship Game in Atlanta before dropped passes eventually got the better of them and LSU won handily.

Chip Towers at the Atlanta Journal-Constitution noted on Twitter that the biggest bit of the story is “is no buyout for him if he chooses to leave on his own”, while Gentry Estes of Georgia24-7 noted that Richt would be paid out $4.8m if he’s fired at the end of the 2012 season, a number that falls to $800,000 each season thereafter.

Estes notes that Richt would have had to pay Georgia $2m if he’d decided to walk to another school.

“Mark Richt is not only the dean of SEC coaches, he is a person who has represented the University of Georgia extraordinarily well since he arrived in December of 2000,” said Georgia president Michael Adams.   “He has compiled a very strong record of wins and losses over that period. I am glad we were able to work out this contract extension which I believe is good for the University, good for football and good for Mark.”

Also signing a deal was Greg McGarity, Georgia’s athletic director, until December 2017. He will make around $500,000 per year.

BOTTOM LINE: This year Georgia is loaded and has recruited well, making it one of the favorites for the SEC East crown – although South Carolina and Florida will push them all the way.