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Alabama’s $4 million man worth every penny

Since most of you probably aren’t avid readers of the Indianapolis Star, I thought I would pass along a little nugget that recently came from that newspaper: NCAA president Myles Brand made more than $935,000 last year. I haven’t seen any other news outlet pick up on this but it’s something I find newsworthy, so the least I can do is educate the fine people of Chilton County.

That’s a lot of money, you might think, but why does it matter? It matters because Brand very publicly questioned the salary the University of Alabama gave Nick Saban a little more than one year ago.

“Is this a proper approach within an academic context?” Brand rhetorically asked about the escalating salaries being given to college coaches. About Saban specifically, Brand indicated the coach’s compensation was a serious issue that needed further discussion.

And what did or will Brand and his friends say during their little discussion? They’ll probably pout about a football coach making more money than they do, what with all their fancy degrees from stuck-up sounding institutions.

Let’s go back to what the Star reported: Brand makes almost $1 million a year. That’s more than any president of a public university in the country. There are plenty of professors and staff members at universities across the nation that are qualified to question the money being handed out to college football coaches. Myles isn’t one of them.

Myles isn’t the only one that expressed concern about Saban’s salary. All the other fears were also unquestionably unfounded. According to a recent story in Forbes magazine (it dubbed Saban “Sports most powerful coach;” I’m sure you’ve heard of it), Saban has generated $32 million for the University since his hiring. So much for concerns about the scholarship fund.

The effect college football coaches have goes beyond filling seats in a stadium – though that’s pretty significant also if your stadium holds 92,138 people. Excitement about a football program can help a college raise money and encourage more people to enroll there.

Less than two years into his tenure, Nick Saban has been worth the investment Alabama made, and that’s after a 7-6 season. Any winning the coach does from here on out will be icing on the cake, though I’m sure ‘Bama fans are expecting a little of that to go along with the magazine covers and whatnot.

University aside, who knows how much money Saban has generated for the city of Tuscaloosa? If you’ve never been, the streets are usually a tad more crowded on the days the Crimson Tide is playing a home game. The Tuscaloosa Police Department one day might even realize that the salaries of its employees is directly affected by the success of the football team and stop arresting players. Look out then; there might be no stopping the Tide and its well-paid coach.