News, Notes & Quotes - May 3

Posted by: Chris Vannini on Wednesday May 03, 2017

- Nick Saban will be the highest-paid coach again — but only for a year.

Saban’s new contract keeps the same base salary of $6.9 million, but a $4 million signing bonus will put him around $11 million next year. That’s more than the $9 million Jim Harbaugh makes, but $4 million of that for Harbaugh involves a life insurance policy.

The school has made the case for years that Saban is worth every penny, noting the football program brought in $103.9 million last year. Since his hire in 2007, Saban has almost always been the highest-paid coach, with a base salary going from $4 million to $4.75 million in 2009, to $5.3 million in 2012 to $6.9 million in 2014. His entire $65 million deal is more than the entire athletic budget of 181 Division I schools, per CBS.

But don’t forget the assistants. Outside linebackers coach Tosh Lupoi will now make $950,000, which is more than 47 public school FBS head coaches did last year, and head strength coach Scott Cochran will earn $535,000, which is more than 18 FBS head coaches last year.

- David Shaw is not happy about new NCAA rules eliminating two-a-days. Shaw has continued tackling in practice, as more teams limit that, but says they’ve always kept it safe.

“I’m not super excited about the elimination of double days. I think they have their place,” he said on the Pac-12 Coaches Teleconference. “I think they can be done wisely. The way it went through, it wasn’t as communicative with our entire coaching fraternity. People forget we’re in it to keep these guys healthy, also. I think there are ways to have two practices in a day, breaking them so they’re actually shorter, instead of longer practices. I’d love to see that discussion continue.

Shaw added, “A lot of people have already eliminated two-a-days from preseason. I understand that. I think our way of doing it is really good. I love having a shorter padded practice in the late afternoon and an earlier non-padded practice in the morning, so we can get a lot done, and only have two hours of hitting. There are a lot of conversations we had — everyone’s on the same page trying to do what’s safest for our young people — but I’d love for that discussion to come back around.”

- The conversation about skipping bowl games is back. Coaches vary on their thoughts, but Dabo Swinney questioned the idea.

“At the end of the day, any game is a risk,” he told Sports Illustrated. “Why play at all your senior year? Why play at all? That’s my personal opinion. But to each his own.

“If I have someone who doesn’t want to play, don’t play. Just let me know so I can get the next guy ready and we’ll put the next 11 out there and compete.”

- Could a Mexican football team join the NCAA?

Last week, the NCAA determined, on a permanent basis, divisions could invite Canadian or Mexican schools. Simon Fraser University in Canada joined Division II in 2012 as part of a pilot program. Now, Cetys University in Tijuana is looking to join Division II as well.

The New York Times has a detailed story on the school, its athletic department and its football program.

Said school president León García said, “We are conscious that sports along with research and visible alumni are a way to raise exposure.”

- Check out Central Michigan’s staff mic’d up during spring ball:

Chris Vannini is in his fifth year with and serves as its managing editor. He has previously written for the Detroit Free Press, The Oakland Press, The State News,, 247Sports and SB Nation.  A graduate of Michigan State University, Chris now lives in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.  Be sure to follow @coachingsearch and send emails to