Sure, he may be a terrible, horrible, no-good very-bad liar. His dalliance and eventual acceptance of the Alabama football job after promising Miami Dolphins fans that he’d never leave them was downright despicable — and totally expected. But hey, good football coaches don’t have to be good people, and thus far, Nick Saban has been a pretty good football coach.
It’s that status, plus his all-roads-lead-to-Nick control at Alabama, that caused FORBES magazine to call Saban the “most powerful coach in sports.” It’s not just about money, either. It’s about being the master of one’s universe:
What’s more, he was given total control of the football program: recruiting, coaching, business administration and public relations. There are coaches at other universities who have similar salaries, like Charlie Weis at Notre Dame and Pete Carroll at the University of Southern California. But no coach, including those in the professional leagues, can match Saban’s combination of money, control and influence. Saban, now entering his second year as the coach of the Alabama Crimson Tide, is the most powerful coach in sports.
It’s important to remember that “most powerful” certainly doesn’t mean “best.” Alabama fans were reminded in Saban’s first year, when the Tide rolled to a paltry 7-6 record, while just down the road Urban Meyer and Tim Tebow earned another Heisman Trophy. Whether all of Saban’s money and influence will do Alabama fans any good is yet to be seen. In the meantime, it’ll be fun watching the Forbes cover further inflate his ego.