Former Alabama football head coach Nick Saban 'disappointed' in players

Nick Saban said he didn't retire because of his disappointment in players but the former Alabama football legend said that players have different goals than they used to.

Feb 17, 2024; Tuscaloosa, Alabama, USA;  Alabama Crimson Tide former head football coach Nick Saban
Feb 17, 2024; Tuscaloosa, Alabama, USA; Alabama Crimson Tide former head football coach Nick Saban / Gary CosbyJr.-USA TODAY Sports

Now that Nick Saban has retired as Alabama football head coach, he isn't holding back. In an interview with Chris Low of ESPN, that detailed the decision of Saban to retire after this past season, plus the aftermath of that, Saban had some interesting comments.

Saban made the University of Alabama aware that his retirement could be coming. He also said some of the shifting attitudes of players contributed to his decision.

"I want to be clear that wasn't the reason, but some of those events certainly contributed," Saban said of his decision to retire. "I was really disappointed in the way that the players acted after the game. You gotta win with class. You gotta lose with class. We had our opportunities to win the game and we didn't do it, and then showing your ass and being frustrated and throwing helmets and doing that stuff ... that's not who we are and what we've promoted in our program."

Saban also said that the majority of Alabama football players were worried about their starting spot being guaranteed or how much compensation they would receive, which isn't how it used to be according to Saban.

"I thought we could have a hell of a team next year, and then maybe 70 or 80 percent of the players you talk to, all they want to know is two things: What assurances do I have that I'm going to play because they're thinking about transferring, and how much are you going to pay me?"

"So I'm saying to myself, 'Maybe this doesn't work anymore, that the goals and aspirations are just different and that it's all about how much money can I make as a college player?' I'm not saying that's bad. I'm not saying it's wrong, I'm just saying that's never been what we were all about, and it's not why we had success through the years."

The transfer portal and NIL have changed college football forever. You'll hear plenty of coaches complain about it and many are leaving -- not just Saban, because of the challenge it's become to build a roster, especially at a program that isn't a perennial contender.


it's a crazy time for college football but it's never a good thing when the best coaches are leaving the sport and that's been happening far too often in college football recently.