Originally posted on Fox Sports South  |  Last updated 3/29/12

NEW ORLEANS - JANUARY 02: Kick returner Javier Arenas #28 of the Alabama Crimson Tide celebrates with head coach Nick Saban after Arenas scored on a 73-yard punt return in the second quarter against the Utah Utes during the 75th Allstate Sugar Bowl at the Louisiana Superdome on January 2, 2009 in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)
What do you give the highest paid college football coach in the nation? Well, if you are defending national champion Alabama, you give him a raise. In the midst of a spring practice that, by all accounts, is going well, Nick Saban received a contract extension with an immediate bump in salary to 5.3 million, an increase of 550,000 over what he would have made in 2012 under his old contract. The extension could keep Saban in Tuscaloosa until 2020, at which point he will be making 6 million. And should he stay for the duration of the contract, he will have pocketed a total of 44,983,333.86 from the good citizens of the nations ninth poorest state, 16.1 percent of whom are living below the poverty line. But he wins football games. "We're staying at Alabama and we're not interested in going anyplace else," Saban said. "We weren't interested in going anyplace else at the end of the season, so it doesn't really matter." His assistants are staying put as well. Kirby Smart, one of the names that always comes up when a head coaching job is available, received a 100,000 pay raise to get him up to 950,000, 22.5 times the medium income of the state. New offensive coordinator Doug Nussmeier signed a three-year deal with the first years salary of 590,000. "I think there's a very competitive market out there when it comes to assistant coaches," Saban said. "I think it's imperative that we keep continuity and that we had the opportunity to be competitive salary-wise with other schools who are trying to hire our coaches. The market is what it is, and if we're not willing to pay that to the best people that we have, they're not going to be here." Most people in Alabama wont mind, even the 8 percent who are unemployed. The Tide beat Auburn last year, and won another national championship. Saban has a statue next to Bear. On the field, quarterback A.J. McCarron is taking a much more aggressive leadership role in spring practice. The team practiced in pads on Wednesday and Nussmeier is opening up the field with a lot more downfield passes than fans have seen in some time. Kenny Bell and DeAndrew White are sprinting up and down the turf for McCarron. No one should read too much into the pass-happy attack, though. With Trent Richardson on his way to the NFL and Eddie Lacy out for the spring with an injury, passing makes sense, especially with such a young receiving corps in need of reps. They took Thursday off and will practice again on Friday before suiting up for the first scrimmage of spring on Saturday. The A Game will be April 14 at 2 p.m. local time and will be televised. As is always the case, between 80,000 and 100,000 people will show up. Saban will wear a gray suit and red tie and stay out on the field as plays are run. Meanwhile Gov. Robert Bentley announced that general funding to the Department of Public Safety and other state agencies would be cut by 10 percent because of revenue shortages. Public Safety director Hugh McCall said he hopes to avoid layoffs of state troopers and other employees. It is, one would assume, what the market will bear.
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

WATCH: Alabama kicker commit drills 77-yard field goal

WATCH: Texas guard destroys opponent with huge dunk

Reports: Red Sox were in on Greinke if Price fell through

Chris Webber advises Lakers to swipe Kobe's memorabilia

Five-star CB excited about Kirby Smart hire by Georgia

San Diego Padres unveil awesome new uniforms


Report: Mark Richt being recruited to run for Georgia governor

Cowboys won’t put Tony Romo on IR because of playoff hopes

What the Selection Committee taught us: Week 13

Majority of FIFA sponsors demanding independent review on reforms

Zack Greinke expected to choose between Dodgers, Giants by end of week

Reports: David Price, Red Sox agree to seven-year, $217 million contract

Mike Tomlin settles for field goal, then says you can’t settle for one

Kobe: 76ers thought I would score 81 points after hot start

Claude Julien: No animosity between Bruins, Chirelli

Report: Louisville QB Will Gardner will transfer

Report: Yasiel Puig and Don Mattingly didn’t talk at all toward end

WATCH: Roy Hibbert pushes referee during scrum

Orioles set to acquire Mark Trumbo from Mariners

Seven storylines for Week 14 of the college football season

Colin Kaepernick jerseys on sale at 49ers’ team store

Iowa’s Kirk Ferentz named Big Ten Coach Of The Year

Mid-American Conference Championship preview

Lakers trying to decide which Kobe Bryant jersey number to retire

Matthew Dellavedova is becoming a better passer

College Football News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Seven storylines for Week 14 of the college football season

MAC Championship preview

Tiger Woods’ career inches closer to an end after gloomy injury update

QUIZ: Name every NCAA football national champion since 1950

Browns lose to Ravens as only the Browns know how

NCAA figures out how to invite 5-7 teams to bowls

Ranking top Heisman Trophy candidates

Have the New Orleans Saints given up?

This weekend in NFL stupid, ft. Rex Ryan

Missouri won’t accept a bowl bid at 5-7

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Follow Yardbarker