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ESPN article claims Alabama players’ reaction to Rose Bowl loss factored into Saban’s retirement

No one in the media has a better relationship than Alabama head coach Nick Saban. ESPN's Chris Lowe.

Few published items explosive new Get insight into the decision to hang up on Saban Wednesday morning, the tumultuous 48 hours that followed, Greg Byrne's daunting search for his replacement, and more.

Throughout the in-depth article, the most fascinating revelation was about Saban's final days as Alabama's coach.

“I was really disappointed in the attitude of the players after the game,” Lowe quoted Saban saying about the Rose Bowl loss.

“We have to win with class. We have to lose with class. We had a chance to win the game and we didn't do it and we showed our butts and got frustrated and threw our helmets and things like that. … That’s not who we are and that’s not what we’ve been promoting in our program.”

Since Saban's retirement, many have speculated that the changing landscape of college football was one of the reasons he decided to retire.

And while Saban initially denied those claims, new quotes in the article suggest that that was at least a factor, especially in the wake of the Rose Bowl loss and subsequent meetings with players. was confirmed.

RELATED: Saban: 'If I'm going to be a coach, I'll stay at Alabama forever'

“I thought we might have a hell of a team next year, but then 70 or 80 percent of the players you're talking about, all they want to know are two things: I'm going to play. What's the guarantee? They're looking to move, how much are they willing to pay?'' Saban said.

“So I'm saying to myself, 'This isn't going to work out anymore, we just have different goals and aspirations, and all that matters is how much money I can make as a college player.'” That's what happens. I'm not saying it's bad. I'm not saying that's wrong, but that it's never been all about us and that's not why we've been so successful over the years. I'm just saying. ”

As we continue to enter a whole new world in the sport of college football, Saban decided that today's game simply isn't what it used to be. Who could blame him?

While Saban's age and desire to spend time with his family are undoubtedly big factors, perhaps the biggest factor, the fact that the greatest man of all time simply didn't want to put up with the status quo. It's a shame to see.

Michael Brauner is a senior sports analyst and contributing writer for Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @MBraunerWNSP

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