Lane Kiffin explains why Nick Saban might 'double his championships' before retiring
Lane Kiffin has never been shy about voicing his opinions on the hot-button issues facing college athletics.
Lately, of course, that has largely involved NIL money and how it has impacted recruiting and the transfer portal.
In a lengthy interview with Ross Dellenger of Sports Illustrated, Kiffin said he sees the gap between schools like Alabama and the rest of college football widening even further. In fact, he said he wouldn’t be surprised if Saban doubled his number of championships before retiring:
SI: Alabama has dominated the last decade-plus of college football. Will NIL bring some parity at least to the very top of the sport?
LK: If you’re Alabama, how does your gap not continue to widen? If you have NIL, you can get the players. You were already signing No. 1 classes. Now there’s a money factor involved, and you have top resources for that and you have the portal so you are replacing. If you have holes anywhere with guys leaving, they’re just going to replace them. You see them doing it. Here’s the best players out there not playing at Alabama. They can come take these spots.
Take professional sports. [Imagine if] instead of winning and drafting at the end, you win and draft at the top. You are Team Whatever and you draft in the top five every year and get a higher cap than everybody you are playing against, and in free agency, you get the first pick by using your higher cap. How is that not going to separate?
Watch how coaches take jobs now. Coach is down to these four jobs. Well, before, [the decision was based on] facilities or whatever. If the coach is smart, the first question should be what?
Tell me about your collective?
Exactly. It used to be the stadium, conference, assistant pool, your salary … nope. First question should be what is your NIL structure.
People always ask me when Nick Saban will retire. Before, I said, ‘Not for a long time.’ He’s driven and he works like he’s 30. Now, it’ll be never. Why would he? You get the best players, have free agency to pluck the best players.
He’ll be there forever. He might double his championships.
Considering Saban already has a record 7 titles, getting to 14 would be incredible. But, the Tide enter 2022 as the favorites to win it all once again. We’ll see what happens.
Check out the full Sports Illustrated interview with Kiffin here.