'Bama wins $32M bet on Saban as profits soar

Associated Press - December 9, 2009 12:24 PM ET

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (AP) - The University of Alabama has won its bet on Nick Saban.

There was criticism from some three years ago when the university agreed to pay him as much as $32 million in an 8-year deal. That $4 million-a-year mark set a record at the time.

But the gamble has paid off. Despite a recession that has wrecked businesses large and small and left thousands of Crimson Tide fans unemployed, federal records show Alabama football turned a profit of more than $38 million in the last academic year. That's an almost 40 percent gain from the year before Saban was hired in 2007.

This year could be even better financially for Alabama, with the 13-0 Crimson Tide set to play Texas in the Bowl Championship Series title game.

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