Saban Leaving NFL for 'Bama

By: The Associated Press
By: The Associated Press

Nick Saban is 'Bama bound. Ending five weeks of speculation and two days of deliberation, Saban decided to accept a job from Alabama and abandon his bid to rebuild the Miami Dolphins after only two seasons.
He informed Miami owner Wayne Huizenga of the decision Wednesday morning. Huizenga announced the departure at a news conference, without Saban.

The Crimson Tide first approached Saban shortly after they fired Mike Shula in late November. Huizenga said he received repeated assurances from Saban that he would return in 2007, and the coach issued frequent public denials of interest in moving to Tuscaloosa.

But when the Dolphins' disappointing season ended Sunday, Alabama sweetened an offer that reportedly would make him the highest-paid coach in college football. He has three years remaining on his Miami contract at $4.5 million per year.

A preference for the college game may have also swayed Saban. He won a national championship at Louisiana State and is 15-17 with the Dolphins. They went 6-10 in 2006, his first losing season in 13 years as a head coach.

After Saban turned down the Tide in early December, they offered the job to Rich Rodriguez, but he decided to stay at West Virginia.

Alabama lost last week to Oklahoma State in the Independence Bowl to finish 6-7.


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