Verne Lundquist says what he believes led to Nick Saban’s surprise retirement

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Broadcasting legend Verne Lundquist shared his ideas on why legendary Alabama football coach Nick Saban determined to name it quits after the 2023-24 collegiate season. 

It shocked everybody when Saban retired from teaching after main his crew to the College Football Playoff following an SEC Championship win over Georgia.

Lundquist, who known as school soccer for years previous to stepping away from CBS’ protection in 2016, believes that identify, picture and likeness – higher often known as NIL – led to Saban’s retirement. 


On Wednesday, March 2, 2016, outdoors the West Wing of the White Home, Alabama Crimson Tide soccer crew Coach Nick Saban speaks to reporters. (Cheriss Could/NurPhoto/NurPhoto through Getty Pictures)

“The 2 largest modifications, each of which helped drive Nick Saban into retirement, are switch portal and NIL,” Lundquist mentioned throughout an look on Barstool’s “Pardon My Take.” “These children now [ask], ‘How a lot are you gonna pay me?’ Or ‘When you don’t pay me or in the event you don’t assure I’m beginning and pay me, I’m transferring, I’m going to Central Michigan.’ And I feel Nick has now mentioned, ‘Yeah, that drove me nuts.’”

Whereas Saban hasn’t definitively come out and mentioned that NIL and the transfer portal drove him out of the sport, he has overtly criticized the best way school athletics are operating now. 

Saban mentioned again in February whereas on an ESPN panel throughout “School GameDay” that “what we now have now shouldn’t be school soccer.”


“Not school soccer as we all know it,” he continued. “You hear any person use the phrase ‘student-athlete.’ That doesn’t exist. 

Saban mentioned he desires to attempt to influence school soccer nevertheless he can, and that began with a dialogue on Capitol Hill concerning the way forward for school athletics by way of the switch portal and NIL. He was part of a roundtable dialogue, led by Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, the place he gave his expertise to clarify why there must be laws with the switch portal and NIL. 

Verne Lundquist with headset on

Verne Lundquist of CBS Sports activities in the course of the 2017 NCAA Pictures through Getty Pictures Males’s Basketball Match held at Madison Sq. Backyard on March 24, 2017, in New York Metropolis. (Ben Solomon/NCAA Pictures through Getty Pictures)

“All of the issues I’ve believed in for all these years – 50 years of teaching – not exists in school athletics,” he defined when Cruz requested if the “present chaos” led to his retirement. “It’s at all times was about creating layers, at all times been about serving to folks be extra profitable in life.”

Saban even introduced up an anecdote about how his spouse, Terry, requested him “Why are we doing this?” following a Sunday breakfast she normally places collectively for recruits and their dad and mom when visiting Alabama. 

“’All they care about is how a lot you’re going to pay them. They don’t care about the way you’re going to develop them, which is what we’ve at all times accomplished. So why are you doing this?’” Saban recalled his spouse saying earlier than he determined to retire. Saban added that it was a “pink alert” listening to his spouse say that. 

And that’s precisely what Lundquist is alluding to right here, that athletes are actually centered on how a lot cash they’ll make throughout their school years. If meaning transferring to money in, then the switch portal can assist them try this. 

Verne Lundquist visits the SiriusXM Studios on October 8, 2018, in New York Metropolis. (Taylor Hill/Getty Pictures)


To their credit score, it’s what the NCAA presently permits, in order that they’re merely utilizing the system at hand to their very own profit. However Saban and plenty of others are hoping the NCAA and school athletics can reel it in a bit, as a result of recruiting isn’t about promoting an athlete on their program and faculty to higher them on and off the sector. 

It’s about what number of zeroes go on a examine. 

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