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Saban - The Rest of the Story: Do you remember what Nick Saban said to Kirby Smart just before Alabama beat Georgia for the SEC Championship?

"I'm getting too old for this," he said. It didn't seem like much at the time for the 72-year-old coach, but there is seriousness in any jest. That proved to be the case.

Saban did step down from coaching about a month later citing that it was becoming more difficult at his age to put in the time required to maintain that competitive level of excellence.

In a story by ESPN's Chris Low, Saban elaborated more on the other stuff that factored in to his decision.

"I was really disappointed in the way the players acted after the game," Saban said of his team's actions after the career-ending Michigan defeat.

"You gotta win with class. You gotta lose with class." He went on to talk about throwing helmets and showing their you know whats.

"That's not who we are and what we've promotoed in our program."

There is even more that Saban spoke of that very well might be the biggest reason he chose to walk away.

"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, want to know 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?"

Saban is not the only one getting those questions. Every coach is dealing with it thanks to the transfer portal and NIL. It's a bidding war for players.

That's why Alabama lost several of their top returnees and why the Tide (even if the GOAT returned) might have slipped from being the best returning team to something else.

"Our program here was always built on how much value can we create for your future and your personal development, academic success in graduating and developing an NFL career on the field."

Those factors still come into play, but they're now secondary. Getting a deal now trumps hopes of bigger things down the road, especially when you're talking about millions of dollars (in some cases) for 18-22 year olds.

This new era is not for Saban. Could he have won if he'd stuck around? Sure. Maybe he could've won another natty or two. It's just not what he desires to do at 72. And I don't blame him.

Leave it to Kalen Deboer at age 49. The new coach is blasting music (not the Rolling Stones) at spring practice with an open-door policy for the media. Different strokes for different folks.

Regardless of the new way of doing things, all that matters is the outcome on Saturdays. It will be fun to watch. We will also get Saban's takes from another perspective - retired coach/analyst. I look forward to that too.