Alabama boosters buy Nick Saban's house
The Crimson Tide Foundation purchased the Saban’s home from the coach’s family in the spring of 2013, an AL.com report revealed Sunday.
The foundation, which is a nonprofit that privately funds Alabama athletics — a fancy way to describe a booster club — bought the home from Alabama coach Nick Saban and his family in March 2013, just weeks after the Crimson Tide beat Notre Dame for the BCS National Championship.
The foundation purchased the home for $3.1 million, according to records, which is about $200,000 more than the Sabans paid for the home. Scott Phelps, an assistant secretary for the foundation, described the purchase as “not a big deal” and something done to “keep (Saban) happy.” Neither Saban or his attorney commented in the story.
In the report, Phelps also said Alabama owned legendary coach Bear Bryant’s house and that this is a common practice throughout college football. Saban’s home is the only piece of residential property the Crimson Tide Foundation owns. The foundation also pays the property taxes on the property, which total about $10,000 per year. The foundation first paid the taxes on the home in December 2013.
The timing of the foundation buying the house might raise some eyebrows, as it came just a few weeks after the University of Texas reportedly offered Saban a contract to coach the Longhorns that would have paid him more than $100 million. Saban signed a contract extension with Alabama that runs through 2022. It pays him about $6.9 million per year before bonuses; the contract makes no mention of the house.
Faulk checked with the NCAA on whether this practice is allowed, and a spokeswoman told him that a coach’s compensation package is determined entirely by the university and that a private foundation can be a source for compensation.
Faulk found a story from 1983 about Auburn University purchasing coach Pat Dye’s home. Auburn does not currently own or pay for coach Gus Malzahn’s housing.