Alabama football coach Nick Saban's newest contract extension was "formally approved" yesterday by the UA BOT compensation committee, taking him to $6.9M in annual compensation, according to Aaron Suttles of the TUSCALOOSA NEWS. Saban's $6.5M base salary includes a $400,000 completion bonus, extending the contract two years through to Jan. 31, 2022 (TUSCALOOSA NEWS, 6/4). USA TODAY's Steve Berkowitz notes Saban will be able to "add as much as $700,000 a year in performance bonuses." In addition, the sides agreed that in each year in which Saban "earns the contract-completion bonus, Alabama will put an extra $100,000" toward a $1M scholarship pledge that Saban has "made to the school" (USA TODAY, 6/4). In Birmingham, Kevin Scarbinsky notes Saban "still has the power to walk away from Alabama to take another job without owing the school a penny" (BIRMINGHAM NEWS, 6/4). Alabama AD Bill Battle, when asked if the new deal was a result of the need to outrace potential bidders, said the school "wanted to do what was fair and what was right and what we thought he deserved.” ESPN.com's Alex Scarborough wrote, "Does Saban deserve an eight-year contract worth more than $50 million? Probably, when you look at the marketplace. " But a marketplace "fluctuates based on demand," so as long as demand for Saban rises, "so will his contract" (ESPN.com, 6/3).
WAHOO'S THE BOSS? In Virginia, Norm Wood reports Virginia's men's basketball coach Tony Bennett yesterday "got his reward" for leading the team to its deepest run in the NCAA tournament in 19 years, with a new seven-year contract worth $1.924M annually. Bennett, who earned $1.7M in "annual base salary and supplemental income with his old contract," is now under contract through the '20-21 season. The deal includes "longevity bonuses" of $1M if he is still UVA's coach on March 15, 2019, and an additional $400,000 if he is still with the school on March 15, 2021. If Bennett "resigns or otherwise terminates his employment" at UVA before the conclusion of the contract, he will "owe the school" $1.4M -- an amount that will be reduced by $200,000 for each full year of employment between May 1, 2014, and April 30, 2017 (Hampton Roads DAILY PRESS, 6/4).