Print and Go Back ESPN.com: College Football [Print without images]

Saturday, December 14, 2013
Nick Saban refutes Texas speculation

By Chris Low
ESPN.com

Nick Saban, who agreed to a long-term extension Friday to remain the coach at Alabama, said Saturday that he never had any intentions of going to Texas.

Saban said his commitment has and will continue to be to Alabama and that the speculation about potentially replacing his friend, Mack Brown, at Texas was unfair to everybody involved.

Saban Mack Brown is the coach at Texas. He deserves the right, based on his body of work, to be able to leave the program the way he wants to leave the program. It wasn't fair to him or to me to be speculating about this job, which I haven't talked to anybody there about. Really, the whole thing from my perspective stunk, but there wasn't a hell of a lot I could do about it.

-- Nick Saban

"The way this sort of got spun, it was a little bit more like, 'OK, he got a new contract at Alabama, so he's going to stay at Alabama instead of going to Texas,'" Saban told ESPN.com on Saturday. "I never considered going to Texas. That wasn't even a conversation.

"I knew that if Mack stepped down, there would probably be an opportunity, but it wasn't something I was interested in doing, not at this stage in my career."

Saban's agent, Jimmy Sexton, had been discussing a contract extension with Alabama officials before the season ended. Similar discussions have taken place the last few years, but this new deal reportedly will pay Saban upward of $7 million per year.

"We've been trying to do this thing with Alabama all the way back into the season," Saban said. "It really wasn't about the contract. It was about staying at Alabama, wanting to be at Alabama, wanting to continue to do good things for Alabama and our commitment to the players here, the university and the community."

While Brown's future with Texas remains unclear, Saban said the hardest part for him last week was seeing how the situation took on a life of its own, with his name being linked to a job that wasn't even available.

"I have a tremendous amount of respect for Mack Brown," Saban said. "Mack Brown is the coach at Texas. He deserves the right, based on his body of work, to be able to leave the program the way he wants to leave the program. It wasn't fair to him or to me to be speculating about this job, which I haven't talked to anybody there about.

"Really, the whole thing from my perspective stunk, but there wasn't a hell of a lot I could do about it."

Saban, who has won three of the last four national championships, hopes any chatter about leaving Alabama for another coaching job will at last cease.

"I don't want to go someplace else," Saban said. "I don't know how many times I can say that.

"Maybe this will be what the Cleveland Browns, Tampa Bay thing was to the NFL the last couple of years. That kind of ended the pro speculation. Maybe this will end the college speculation. This is where I'm going to finish my coaching career."