Ole Miss football coach Lane Kiffin appeared on the “Dan Patrick Show” on Tuesday morning in a wide-ranging interview.
One of the topics Kiffin discussed with Dan Patrick was Alabama football head coach Nick Saban.
Kiffin was the offensive coordinator at Alabama under Saban from 2014-16.
Patrick asked Kiffin, “How much is Saban worth if you put a dollar figure on it each year to that program?”
“Way more than what he makes,” Kiffin said. “I understand faculty and when people say, ‘OK, how does a guy like that make that much money when he’s just coaching football?’ But the money he brings into the program and the university. When a football program’s rolling, the university changes, student applications change, so tuition goes up. Everything changes.
“So as crazy as it is, kids around the country watch a football program doing well and say, ‘I want to go there.’ Even though they don’t play football.”
The University of Alabama system board of trustees approved a new contract for Saban on Monday that goes through 2028. The contract pays Saban $8.425 million in 2020-21 and increases to $11.5 million in 2028-29.
Earlier in the interview, Patrick asked Kiffin, “Does it feel hopeless at times, given how great Alabama is?”
“A little bit,” Kiffin said. “You know at times in recruiting, especially, when he announces that his backup quarterback from last year is getting $1 million. That’s gonna be a little hard to recruit against. I mean, he just accidentally threw that out there. He didn’t do that on purpose.”
Ole Miss coach Lane Kiffin waits to be introduced in the main media room during SEC Media Days. (Gary Cosby Jr., Mississippi Clarion Ledger )
Kiffin was referring to Saban saying in July that Alabama quarterback Bryce Young had “already approached” $1 million in name, image and likeness compensation.
The topic of the Southeastern Conference’s expansion to add Texas and Oklahoma also came up.
“I think it’s great,” Kiffin said of adding the two current Big 12 members. “I mean the SEC is already the most powerful conference, the most draft picks and kind of dominating recruiting. So this probably goes to the next level where you’re basically looking at now — especially if you’re a recruit looking at name/image/likeness money and wanting to make that — how are you not going to go to the SEC.”
Kiffin was skeptical that the SEC would expand further than Texas and Oklahoma at this point, but he admitted he isn’t in the loop on those conversations.
“I have no clue,” Kiffin said. “I worry about what I can control. I obviously don’t have any say in that. I wouldn’t guess that you’d go add more right away — kind of like when they put [Texas] A&M and Missouri in — but you never know.”
Kiffin is entering his second season as the Ole Miss football head coach.
Follow Erik Hall on Twitter @HallErik.
This article originally appeared on Mississippi Clarion Ledger: Ole Miss coach Lane Kiffin says Alabama should pay Nick Saban more