The Real Reason Nick Saban Took That Dolphins Job? Huizenga Gave His Wife a Big Check

The reason your hairs are standing up on your neck? Former Dolphins coach Nick Saban is back in town. He returns tonight to the same stadium where he coached the Miami Dolphins through two unremarkable seasons to lead Alabama, the team he left for, in the BCS championship.

It wasn't quite a LeBron-and-Cleveland level sports breakup, but Fins fans never forgave the guy for promising he wasn't going to leave for Alabama right up until the very second he left for Alabama. But apparently he didn't want to be in Miami to begin with. He only came because former team owner Wayne Huizenga gave his wife a giant check.

Or so the story goes from The New York Times in a piece that otherwise rehashes every reason Dolphins fans have to hate Saban:

"I'll say this about him: I don't think he really wanted to take that job," said Gil Brandt, a longtime N.F.L. personnel executive, Sirius analyst and a friend of Saban's.

The story Brandt heard, a story others involved with those Dolphins teams said circulated widely, is that H. Wayne Huizenga, then the owner, flew to Louisiana and presented Saban's wife with a check that contained a number and at least five zeros.

Classic Huizenga. Well, at least his brash attempts to lure college coaches worked better than the current owner's attempts.

Maybe Stephen Ross should have slipped Sarah Harbaugh a six figure check a few years ago.

Follow Miami New Times on Facebook and Twitter @MiamiNewTimes.

KEEP MIAMI NEW TIMES FREE... Since we started Miami New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Miami, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Kyle Munzenrieder