ESPN is reporting that the agent for coach Nick Saban told Texas officials in January that Texas was the only school he would consider leaving Alabama for, and his success with the Crimson Tide had put him under “special pressure.”
The agent, Jimmy Sexton, made the comments during a 45-minute call with former Texas Regent Tom Hicks and current Regent Wallace Hall. Hicks detailed the call in a Sept. 24 email that was obtained Tuesday by the AP through an open-records request.
“Sexton confirmed that UT is the only job Nick would possibly consider leaving Alabama for, and that his success there created special pressure for him,” Hicks wrote.
Saban, for his part, said he was “too damn old” to leave Alabama and start over.
“I’m not really at the stage of my career where I’m looking for some other big sort of challenge,” Saban told reporters following Alabama’s 45-10 win over Tennessee two weeks ago. “We’ve got enough challenges right here to try to work with the players we recruited and try to continue to have a successful program for their personal, academic and athletic success.”
Saban has won four national championships, one with LSU in 2003 and three with Alabama after the 2009, 2011 and 2012 seasons. Saban earns $5.6 million per year, but Texas — the nation’s wealthiest athletic program — certainly could afford him.
On Tuesday, Texas announced it had hired Steve Patterson to be the school’s new athletic director. He replaces DeLoss Dodds, a staunch Brown ally who is leaving after 32 years.
It is still unclear who initiated the contact between Sexton and the Texas representatives, although Tom Hicks’ email suggests it was Sexton. Hicks wrote that Steve Hicks had told him “an agent had made contact to say Saban could have interest in UT.”