Although it wasn't why he decided to seemingly retire out of nowhere, Nick Saban said how his players reacted to losing in the Rose Bowl to eventual national champions Michigan "certainly contributed" to his decision.

ESPN's Chris Low recently detailed how the University of Alabama went from the seven-time national champion head coach Nick Saban to University of Washington's Kalen DeBoer in a short period of time. In doing so, Saban touched on calling it a career.

Saban, 72, told Low that not only was he upset about the overtime loss but he was "really disappointed" in what he witnessed in the postgame locker room and back on campus when he met with players.

"I want to be clear that wasn't the reason, but some of those events certainly contributed," Saban explained, per ESPN. "I was really disappointed in the way that the players acted after the game. You gotta win with class. You gotta lose with class. We had our opportunities to win the game and we didn't do it, and then showing your ass and being frustrated and throwing helmets and doing that stuff ... that's not who we are and what we've promoted in our program."

After meeting with players, Saban pointed to players caring about getting paid more so than academic success or getting developed for the NFL. He said he found himself questioning if what had worked for him for so long was effective anymore.

"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, all they want to know is 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 told ESPN. "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.

"So I'm saying to myself, 'Maybe this doesn't work anymore, that the goals and aspirations are just different and that it's all about how much money can I make as a college player?' I'm not saying that's bad. I'm not saying it's wrong, I'm just saying that's never been what we were all about, and it's not why we had success through the years," he added.

According to Alabama athletic director Greg Byrne, Saban had hinted that his time was near after the 2022 season, so the decision wasn't exactly impromptu.

"Greg, this is getting more and more difficult on me," Saban told Byrne. "I'm not ready to do it now, but we're going to have to start evaluating this more on a year-to-year basis."

Although Saban is done leading the Crimson Tide, fans will still get to learn from the legendary head coach and even still see him on Saturdays in the fall as an analyst for ESPN's "College GameDay." Fans might even get to see a new side of him.

"GameDay" host Rece Davis said of Saban last month, "This guy has got a really good sense of humor. Now, it's a dry wit and a low-key wit. It's a chop-busting wit, but I think that is going to play perfectly on the set."

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