According to an excerpt from a new book by Paul Finebaum, a reporter for ESPN’s SEC Network, Texas was allegedly prepared to offer a contract worth $100 million to Alabama coach Nick Saban.
The new book, co-written with fellow ESPN writer Gene Wojciechowski, sources Texas “big hitters” and Bama “big hitters” to make the claim that Texas’ pending offer was worth twice the amount of the extension Saban ultimately signed with the Crimson Tide.
"Texas was dead serious about trying to money-whip Saban,” Finebaum writes. “Depending on who you talk to -- Bama big hitters or Texas big hitters -- the Longhorns were prepared to give Saban somewhere between a $12 million and $15 million signing bonus and a salary package worth $100 million [plus performance bonuses]."
Saban signed a seven-year deal worth $55 million to stay in Tuscaloosa in December of last year, and stated that he never considered leaving Alabama for Texas.
Texas, of course, signed Charlie Strong in January to a 5-year $26.5 million contract.
I would take this rumor with a grain of salt, as cracking into the war room of the UT Athletic Department is no easy task, and thus claiming to be fully aware of Texas’ strategy following Mack Brown’s retirement is likely filled with half-truths. That’s not to say this is entirely fabrication from a scoop-chasing journalist attempting to sell books, as Texas’ interest in Saban is more or less confirmed. However, giving Saban a contract unheard of in college athletics is, and should be filed as, unlikely.