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September 9, 2009

Notebook (updated): Saban extension approved

As expected, the compensation committee for the Board of Trustees approved contract extensions for three coaches including Nick Saban, and the new contract of men's basketball coach Anthony Grant on Wednesday morning.

Saban recently signed a three-year extension that will extend his contract though the 2017 season and essentially pay him three bonuses: $1.6 million at the end of the 2011-12 season, $1.7 million at the end of the 2014 season, and $1.7 million at the end of 2017 season, when the contract concludes on Jan. 31, 2018.

"The only thing I would say is that I have to be here to earn it," Saban said. "Everything else is the same."

Saban will make $42.35 million in the next nine years, an average of $4.7 million. He's due to make $3.9 million this season, which is believed to be fourth among all college football coaches behind Southern California's Pete Carroll ($4.4 million), Notre Dame's Charlie Weis ($4.2 million) and Florida's Urban Meyer ($4 million).

The contract also includes a "market rate review" beginning in 2015 that guarantees Saban will be among the five highest-paid coaches in the nation or among the three highest-paid coaches in the Southeastern Conference, whichever is higher.

"I really don't care about that," Saban said. "Terry and I are real pleased and happy with the university offer, a contract extension. We feel very fortunate to be here, we feel like we have a tremendous opportunity. Our acceptance of that contract shows our commitment to the university and the future."

Meanwhile, Grant's contract will pay him $1.8 million annually, along with a $50,000 signing bonus and several potential bonuses. They including winning a division title ($15,000), regular season SEC title ($25,000), qualifying for the NCAA tournament ($25,000), $50,000 for reaching the Sweet Sixteen and each subsequent win, SEC Coach of the Year ($25,000), and national coach of the year ($25,000). Alabama paid his VCU buyout of $240,000.

Should Grant leave he'll owe the school $1 million or $245,000 per year remaining on his contract, whichever is greater, and Alabama fires him Grant will receive $1 million per year remaining on the contract.

Gymnastics coach Sarah Patterson's contract was extended to 2014, and rowing coach Lawrence Davis had his contract extended to 2011.

Ingram has flu
Sophomore running back Mark Ingram missed his second straight practice due to the flu, but Saban said he hopes to return Thursday. Nevertheless, the coach indicated that it will probably mean more opportunities for backups Roy Upchurch and Trent Richardson.

Ingram is a roommate of backup quarterback Star Jackson, who missed two days of practice with the flu but returned Wednesday. Redshirt freshman Damion Square also returned after missing a day.

"As soon as one (roommate) gets sick, we try to start treating the other, so hopefully Mark's not going to be as bad as Star was," Saban said, adding:" I think the guys that have the flu now will be fine for the game. It takes them two or three days. I'm worried about somebody getting it on Friday."

Senior defensive end Brandon Deaderick was excused again Wednesday due to a death in his family.

Grant given split roles
Saban on junior running back Terry Grant, who has been working with the wide receivers this week: "Terry Grant we're playing at both positions, he's playing some running back and some receiver. The reason for this is that we think Terry has more ability to contribute offensively than what we used him last year and what we were able to use him in the first game.

"He's one of the best attitude players on the team, he's one of the best leaders on the team, works hard every day and is productive. He's a coaches' dream in terms of a guy who has the drive that you want and does everything you want every day and has ability. He's just at a position where we have two or three other guys who play a lot. It's hard to play all those guys, so we're trying to make him a sort of dual-role guy on the team. I think he's capable of doing that.

"We started Josh Reed that way at LSU and he's had a pretty good NFL career. I'm not making comparisons, but we're hopeful he can develop and help us."

Tide-bits
Former Alabama football player Jimmy Johns pleaded guilty to one charge of drug distribution and another of drug possession Tuesday and will serve one year in jail. Johns was initially charged with five counts of distribution of a controlled substance and one count of possession of a controlled substance on June 24, 2008.

As first reported by Rivals on Tuesday, Alabama has hired Kyle Bunn to be Mitch Gaspard's pitching coach. Bunn spent the past two seasons at Clemson, and last year the Tigers ranked fifth nationally with a 3.68 ERA. Prior to Clemson, Bunn was at Ole Miss for six years.

Saban said there's no change in the status of sophomore linebacker Jerrell Harris, who was declared ineligible prior to last Saturday's game against Virginia Tech.


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