VESTAVIA HILLS — Hypothetically, Nick Saban could make a killing in Las Vegas.
An online sports book — not quite the MGM Grand but still a legal betting establishment — has set an over/under of 5.5 years before Saban announces his retirement as the head football coach at Alabama. That would put Saban’s tenure at an end in 2023 or before for bettors taking the “under,” or 2024 or beyond for those taking the “over.”
While Saban controls what happens, his reaction in Thursday as he met briefly with reporters before his annual Nick’s Kids charity golf event at the Old Overton Golf Club was one of bemusement.
“I haven’t seen that one,” he said when asked about the proposition wager by a Birmingham television reporter. “It’s amusing.”
Saban said his short stint of home rehabilitation after hip replacement surgery in April was an indication that retirement would not be appealing at this point.
“That’s not something I enjoy,” he said. “When I was at home for a few hours after surgery, I started walking around the yard and I think Miss Terry was about to call the police. So (retirement) is not something I want to do anytime soon, I can tell you that.
“I just enjoy being back on a team so much, the relationships. To have Julio Jones come back the first two days I was doing my rehab on my hip, he was there with me doing it. Tua (Tagovailoa, the starting quarterback for the Crimson Tide) actually came by yesterday when I was doing rehab and gave me a medical examination. Those kind of things are really special.
“So, no time soon. I don’t know what Vegas knows that I don’t know.”
Saban said his hip was “near 100 percent” after the replacement surgery and noted that the self-imposed limits on overextending himself on the charity golf circuit had improved his game.
“I’ve learned a lot about the game,” Saban said as he headed for the practice green. “It’s a target game, so it’s not about how far you hit it. You actually play better when you hit it straight, so that’s been a good thing.”
Nick’s Kids has raised more than $8 million to help children throughout the area since Nick and Terry Saban arrived in Tuscaloosa in 2007. Nick’s Kids completed its project with the Tuscaloosa County Juvenile Detention Center this past year and will partner with Phoenix House and PARA of Tuscaloosa County in 2019.
Reach Cecil Hurt at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter at @cecilhurt