Sports journalist Kevin Scarbinsky says Crimson Tide fans who are worried about Nick Saban moving to Texas are right to be concerned. In a phone interview on Thursday morning, Scarbinsky detailed exactly why Saban could end up trading Tuscaloosa for Austin.
"They should be anxious, because the Texas job is going to open," said Scarbinsky.
Scarbinsky believes Texas coach Mack Brown will be forced to retire. Brown led the Texas football team to an 8-4 season this year and a spot in the Alamo Bowl to take on #10 Oregon. Despite this, Scarbinsky believes Brown will be allowed to announce his departure as retirement instead of a firing. This could happen as early as Friday.
Once Mack Brown is gone, Scarbinsky thinks that is when Texas will really go after Saban. A $7-million contract from the University of Alabama has reportedly not been signed by Saban. Rumors about Texas' offer put the figure around $10-million. Scarbinsky says the money does not matter to Saban as much as his legacy.
"As he gets closer to the end of his career, he has started to think about things like that. I think that really this is going to come down to ‘where is he going to be happier for the last 5 to 7 or 8 years of his coaching career,'" said Scarbinsky. "Would it be at Alabama, where he obviously has a place competing at a high level year in and year out? But people now have an expectation of winning national championships and it's a disappointment if you lose one game by one play that keeps you out of the national championship, as is the case this year. Or would it be more satisfying to him to start over at another program that wouldn't take a long rebuilding process and have that program compete for national championships?"
Many Alabama fans are clinging to the idea of Saban's agent, Jimmy Sexton, using Texas to drive up the offer from UA to Saban. Scarbinsky says he does not think that is the case.
"People want to make agents the bad guy. They're doing what they're supposed to do. The interest of Texas is very real. This is not Jimmy Sexton creating something out of whole cloth," said Scarbinsky. "Texas is very interested in Nick Saban and they have some very powerful boosters who will want to throw a lot of money to lure Saban to Austin. This is very much in play and will be probably through the weekend."
The recruiting period will end this weekend, that's when Scarbinsky predicts Saban to make his choice. Scarbinsky says he doesn't expect the issue to persist past the middle of next week.
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