Nick Saban said Thursday he had no conversations with Texas and was never offered anything to leave Alabama for the Longhorns.
“Well, I didn't have any conversations with them,” Saban said during SEC media day. “Nobody offered me anything. So I guess if I didn't have any conversations with them, I didn't have very much interest.”
A passage in a new book by the SEC Network's Paul Finebaum and ESPN.com's Gene Wojchiechowski created a lot of conversation this week after it asserted that Texas offered Saban upward of $100 million to leave Tuscaloosa for Austin.
"Texas was dead serious about trying to money-whip Saban," Finebaum and Wojchiechowski wrote. "Depending on whom you talk to -- Bama big hitters or Texas big hitters -- the Longhorns were prepared to give Saban somewhere between a $12 and $15 million signing bonus and a salary package worth $100 million (plus performances)."
It was no secret Saban was Texas’ top target, but few thought Saban would leave Alabama, a place where he had become a college football legend. Saban seemed to agree with that thinking on Thursday when he noted that he’s not looking to move around anymore.
“I think the University of Texas is a fantastic place, and they've got a lot of wonderful people there, it's a great institution, but this is about the station in my life where we are,” Saban said. “We moved around a lot. If I had to do it over, I'd have just tried to stay in one place and establish a great program, not have all these goals and aspirations of things that eventually, you know, you weren't happy doing.
“So I'm very happy at Alabama. Miss Terry is very happy at Alabama. We certainly enjoy the challenges that we have there, the friends that we have established here.”
To this point, Saban hadn’t talked much about other opportunities, but there’s no reason to believe he isn’t being genuine, especially with the amount of remorse he’s shown in the past about the way he left the Miami Dolphins for Alabama.
Of course, his comment about if he had to do it again that he would have stayed in one place has to sting some LSU fans. Saban pulled that program out of the doldrums in 2000, won a national title in 2003 and then bailed for Miami after the 2004 season. It’s not like LSU has tanked since then, but it’s hard not to think what might have been had Saban stayed for the long haul instead of coaching the rival school.
As it stands, Saban, who just inked a new contract worth $6.9 million, seems content ending his coaching career with the Crimson Tide.
“This is where we just choose to, you know, end our career someday,” Saban said. “It wasn't anything about any other place, it was just about where we are and what we want to try to do with the rest of our career.”
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