Alabama, where they mean business about business decisions

Another sign of the genius of Nick Saban — if the reality is that college football is the NFL’s free developmental league, don’t run from that; embrace it.

… Why are highly rated draft prospects at Alabama largely staying for their senior years when the national trend is skewing more toward leaving at the first opportunity given the money and risk factors involved?

… It’s clear that Saban’s advice on whether players should stay or leave is a large part of the equation. Though some could view it cynically and say a coach whose $7 million-a-year salary depends on wins and losses shouldn’t be advising unpaid college players to pass up guaranteed money, Saban approaches it as a value proposition.

And when difference between guaranteed salary for first-round picks and those taken in the second round can be millions of dollars, it’s worth careful consideration for those who have the potential to enhance their stock.

“I think the biggest thing we try to do with our players is we try to get them to make a quality business decision,” Saban said. “You can’t improve your value once you get in the draft. It is what it is, and what a lot of people don’t realize is everybody wants you to come out for the draft, but once you say you’re in the draft every team looks for reasons not to draft you.

“They’re making a significant investment, and they want to make sure they’re getting quality for what they want to invest in, so if guys can improve that as college players, that’s certainly something we would like for them to do and we’ve had a significant number of guys that have done that and come back and improved their draft value. We’ve had guys who have gone out because it was the right thing for them to do and they’ve done extremely well. Every case is different and I think our players, because they’ve seen both sides of this, sort of understand the business side.”

Allen, who received a second-round grade from the NFL Draft advisory board last year, is the embodiment of that analysis as ESPN’s Mel Kiper now rates Allen the No. 3 overall player. If he ultimately gets drafted somewhere in that range, Allen’s decision to come back will guarantee him at least $16 million more on his first contract than if he had been an early second-round pick.

The trick isn’t selling your players on the value of staying.  It’s delivering on that message.  How many coaches out there can legitimately do that?


Filed under Nick Saban Rules

17 responses to “Alabama, where they mean business about business decisions

  1. One thing to say for Saban is that he delivers when he tells a kid I’ll make you better if you stay. We can only hope we’ll be saying the same thing a few years from now.


  2. The other Doug

    “I think the biggest thing we try to do with our players is we try to get them to make a quality business decision,” Saban said.

    I bet he has a staff member whose job it is to research and present the details on that business decision, and having that specialist on staff has to help in recruiting.


  3. Scorpio Jones, III

    The answer to the question above is very damn few.


  4. Macallanlover

    Get the developmental league going, conversation should not be about the NFL this time of year. Better to get this behind us, it seems inevitable anyway. Some wealthy jock/jock wannabe ( Jordan, Tiger, Cuban, Mickelson, etc.) can go to ESPN and make this happen. Ridiculous to go through this SA charade for those who have no desire for old Campus U.


  5. ApalachDawg

    How Saban can get these guys to stay is by showing them how they will be taking a pay cut from their current position on the UofA football club (dba R.E.C.)or how mama may lose her cushy new janitorial engineering job that pays her like an Ivy League MBA grad.


  6. Derek

    Didn’t we just do that x 4?


  7. This topic always gives me a little chuckle, especially when mixed with the roster management topic. Seems like ol Sabes would be talking marginal guys into hopping into the draft, right? Either that or go see the doc, amirite?


  8. So is this why we saw a few dawgs come back? Maybe Kirby learned more than he is given credit for.


    • Got Cowdog

      I gotta agree PF. I don’t think #1 and #27 stay if next year looks like more of the same. I may be a Disney Dawg loopy on Koolaid, but I think Georgia shows up today and surprises next year.
      Having said that you should keep in mind that I thought CMB needed to go and Grayson Lambert would be a great addition to the team. 🙂