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Alabama Coach Nick Saban Rules out Return to NFL

FORT LAUDERDALE, FL - JANUARY 08:  Head coach Nick Saban of the Alabama Crimson Tide poses with the National Championship trophy during the Discover BCS National Championship Press Conference at the Harbor Beach Marriott on January 8, 2013 in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.  (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
Streeter Lecka/Getty Images
Adam WellsFeatured ColumnistJanuary 10, 2013

Of all the things Alabama head coach Nick Saban could possibly be doing right now, thinking about a return to the NFL sounds like the last thing in the world on his list. 

Despite constant rumors being floated around, Saban has now said without qualification twice in the last three days that he is not leaving Alabama for the NFL.

After Alabama's 42-14 destruction of Notre Dame in the BCS Championship Game on Monday night, Saban told reporters (via Al.com) that he has put the NFL squarely in his rear-view mirror:

I came to the Miami Dolphins eight years ago for the best owner, the best person I've ever had the opportunity to work for. In the two years I was here, I had a very, very difficult time thinking I would impact the organization the way I wanted to and the way I was able to in college. It was very difficult for me.

On Thursday, Saban had a radio appearance on ESPN's Mike & Mike In The Morning, where the subject of the NFL came up one more time. Once again, he stated that the NFL is something he tried, but it is not something he is going back to:

You don't believe it, so why do I have to keep saying it? I don't understand it. The guy said it the other day at my last press conference, "Will you close the door on all this?" So I closed the door. Now it's two days later and you're asking me to close the door again. The damn hinges are worn off!

The rumors of Saban going to the NFL never made sense, unless he was trying to use his leverage to negotiate a raise with Alabama. But even that would be a waste of time, since he is already the highest-paid college coach, earning more than $5 million per season. 

In addition to money, Saban has all the job security in the world right now. He has won three championships in four seasons, putting him alongside the legendary Paul "Bear" Bryant in Alabama sports lore. 

Moving back to the NFL might get Saban a little more money in his pocket, but he wouldn't have nearly the same level of job security he does now. Plus, he would lose more games in his first season in the NFL than he probably will during the remainder of his tenure at Alabama. 

Some coaches are just built for college, while others can go to the NFL. Saban could succeed in the NFL if he had the time and if ownership gave him the necessary resources, but college is where he is meant to be. 

So, we can all stop talking about Saban going anywhere else. 

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