What Nick Saban, Mike Krzyzewski and Roy Williams have in Common

The NIL is destroying college athletics. And it does not start and stop with the players, but coaches as well. I dive into how the NCAA needs to read between the lines and get some federal regulation around college athletics as it has lost coaching icons Nick Saban, Mike Krzyzewski and Roy Williams to retirement all within the last three years.
Rose Bowl Game - Alabama v Michigan
Rose Bowl Game - Alabama v Michigan / Ryan Kang/GettyImages

2,397 wins. That is how many wins Roy Williams, Mike Krzyzewski and Nick Saban have combined in 108 years of coaching combined. Their most recent stops were North Carolina, Duke and Alabama respectively; three programs that were built into perennial powers by each.

That’s a lot of winning. The three legendary coaches also hold 15 national championships combined.

The final commonality I’ll state that may not be as transparent is the fact that all three retired within the last three years or so. And although all are older, it is too much of a coincidence that all three would retire within that short time period simply because of age. Therefore, I don’t buy it.

This combined with the comments on the recent changes the NCAA has made with NIL from former Alabama Crimson Tide Head Coach, Nick Saban should have the writing on the wall as to the real reason these three legends all hung it up around the same time.

Nick Saban's comments to Senator Ted Cruz that hopefully opens some eyes

Saban has not been shy expressing his thoughts on the changing landscape in college athletics lately voicing his concerns around it.

Saban recently spoke on these issues during Senator Ted Cruz’s future of college athletics roundtable earlier this week. Saban stated “You’re trying to create a value-based system (just like a value-based business) that would create opportunities for young people to be more successful. This started with personal development. This started with academic support to make sure guys graduated.”

Saban methodically transitioned as he always does to concluding that in the end, “we’ve created a pay for play sort of model in college athletics that have created some issues in being able to actually have a program and a system that would enhance those very values that I just talked about.”

Senator Cruz went on to ask Saban how much the current state of college athletics contributed to his decision to retire now. Saban stated, “all the things that I believe in for all these years (50 years of coaching) no longer exist in college athletics.”

Although Mike Krzyzewski and Roy Williams have not gone on camera, the writing is on the wall that they share the same sentiments.

What the NCAA needs to learn from recent coaching exits

It is not only the talent level of the players that may suffer from all of this, but the level of coaching as well. And the fact that these three icons hung it up within a very short span of time is a common theme that should not be overlooked.

If it is, one may wonder who would be next; Kirby Smart, Dabo Swinney, Lane Kiffin or Ryan Day could be next.

Sure they may leave for the NFL and not retire from coaching all-together, but the college game will suffer even more-so if the NCAA and the federal government do not produce some sort of feasible process for both players and coaches that Saban mentioned with Cruz. Hopefully this is on the way.