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University of Alabama approves contract extension for Nick Saban through 2022

Alabama's Nick SabanAlabama has approved a contract extension that will pay Nick Saban $6.5M per year. (Scott Halleran/Getty Images)

The University of Alabama's board of trustees compensation committee approved a new contract for Crimson Tide head coach Nick Saban on Tuesday, the school announced. Saban's revamped deal extends the coach through January 2022.

Per AL.com's Michael Casagrande, Saban's compensation also increased to $6.5 million per year with a $400,000 completion bonus. The coach's previous deal, which ran through 2020, was set to pay him about $5.5 million in '14.

In a statement, Saban said his new deal is a signal of commitment from both parties.

"We are honored by the commitment the University of Alabama has made to us with this new contract," Saban said. "It is certainly a mutual agreement in terms of our commitment to the University of Alabama. We will continue to work hard to keep our football program among the nation's elite. My passion has always been to develop young men to their full potential as student-athletes. We've had great success in that area at Alabama and I'm appreciative of all the support and the resources we receive from the administration in order to make that happen."

Last fall Saban was rumored to be considering a move to Texas to replace longtime Longhorns coach Mack Brown. However, Alabama announced in December that it had agreed in principle to a contract extension -- a move that keeps Saban in Tuscaloosa for the foreseeable future.

Saban has won three national championships since arriving in Tuscaloosa in 2007, a run that includes 72 wins over the past six seasons. Still, Saban's effect on 'Bama extends beyond wins and losses. The athletic department's operating surplus during the '12-'13 fiscal year was $27.2 million, the highest in the country, according to USA Today's Steve Berkowitz.

As Berkowitz reports, Saban's new contract will likely make the coach one of the highest-paid public employees in the country. But given his impact on the university, it is difficult to argue that Saban is overpaid. Last summer Forbes reported that Alabama's admissions office has accepted more academically impressive students in recent years, a spike credited, in part, to the football program's national success.

Alabama’s board also approved contracts for Saban’s assistants, including newly hired offensive coordinator Lane Kiffin. Per Aaron Suttles of the Tuscaloosa News, Kiffin’s contract runs for three years and will top out at $714,000 per year.

As SI.com legal analyst Michael McCann points out, the timing of Saban's new deal is interesting considering the upcoming Ed O'Bannon v. the NCAA trial.

https://twitter.com/McCannSportsLaw/status/473898897660993536

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