Boosters for the University of Alabama athletic department paid off head football coach Nick Saban’s $3.1 million, 8,759-square-foot home last year.
The report says that the Crimson Tide Foundation, a non-profit organization, paid off Saban's 8,759-square-foot home in January 2013, even though the foundation was under no obligation to do so. The Sabans still live there, and the foundation still pays for property taxes on the home each year.
Saban and his wife Terry bought the Tuscaloosa-area house in 2007, shortly after he was named the school’s football coach.
"It's not all that unusual in the world for universities to provide the housing," said Scott Phelps, assistant secretary of the foundation. "We want to keep him happy. We think he is the best coach in America."
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Phelps said the organization paying for the house was not related to worries Saban would leave for another coaching job. Phelps also said the foundation owned both homes that famed coach Paul "Bear" Bryant and his family lived in.
Soon after the purchase of the house and Alabama's rout of Notre Dame in the 2013 BCS Championship Game, several media outlets reported that Saban’s agent and the University of Texas were talking in attempts to get him to leave the school. At the time, Texas still employed Mack Brown as its football coach. Brown left the school the following December and was replaced by Charlie Strong.
According to the NCAA, a coach's pay is determined by the university, and a university foundation is allowed to be a source for paying coaches.
Saban is 86-16 in eight seasons at the school, winning three national championships and appearing in five BCS bowl games. Saban’s contract extension was approved this summer by the school’s Board of Trustees. He is set to make $6.5 million per year with a $400,000 completion bonus after making $5.5 million in 2013.
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