TheBigLead- Nick Saban was asked this week whether or not he was worth his $11 million salary this season. His answer was tremendous, and actually very un-Saban like. Instead of snapping or getting snooty, he responded with this....
Goddamn it. Leave it to Nick Saban to finally say the "right" thing, and still be 100% wrong.
Sure, if we are discussing a fair and equitable dispersion of funds that's based on time, effort, and performance then Nick Saban probably owes a shekel or two to all 100-or-so student athletes that were handpicked from the tippy top of their respective recruiting classes. The fact that he makes exactly $11 million more than the dozens of future NFLers on his roster combined admittedly clouds the question of "worth", because he certainly wouldn't be annually favored to be on the sideline for the National Championship without them.
However, given that coaches are obligated by the NCAA to retain every cent that is put towards their football programs, I don't think it's outside the realm of possibility to say that Nick Saban is worth $11 million to Alabama. After all, the average human being would consider a 'Crimson Tide' a product of an active imagination - a la 'a blue duck' - if it didn't represent the football team whose success is tied directly to it's curmudgeon of a coach. We are talking about the preeminent participant in a multi-billion dollar industry. Why wouldn't the guy whose presence makes sure it stays a well-oiled machine be worth what amounts to a small piece of an obnoxiously large pie that's shared by the most gluttonous, self indulgent assholes in sports? Relative to his players he might (definitely) be wildly overpaid, but whose fault is that? When you really think about it, his bank account is a testament to their hard work and success and they should take pride in that. Mostly, because it's the only thing left to take once all the profit is gone.
Seriously though, I'm sure Nick Saban understands how fundamentally flawed the NCAA's power structure is. That's why I would bet my bottom dollar that he would totally use some of the millions they've made him to treat his team to their very own 'Happy Meals' every once and awhile....iffff he wouldn't immediately be met with sanctions before the fries even cooled off.
Still, comparatively speaking, a program that is built on the reputation of its coach and is all-but-guaranteed to finish with double-digits win and a playoff berth is worth well over $11 million. If only because the market value has been set too high by schools that don't stand a chance of ever catching up on the field.