If you are a Syracuse fan, the end of the Jim Boeheim era was tragic. The man gave 60 years of his life to Syracuse, including 47 as the head men's basketball coach, and brought the school a national championship and one of the better players of all-time in Carmelo Anthony.

Boeheim had diminishing amounts of success over the last half decade or so, and the school began growing impatient with him about retirement. In addition to the waning performance on the court, Boeheim's spats with members of the media grew more frequent and more asinine in recent years.

Syracuse knew the school couldn't just outright fire an all-time great like Boeheim, but it did want to see him gone in the near future. Thus, the end the world saw this week came to be.

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Just hours after that news conference ended, the university put out a statement announcing that Boeheim would not be returning and that one of his assistants would be the new head coach of the Orange. The words "retirement" and "fired" were never used, adding to the confusing ambiguity.

Nick Saban will not go out that way. No one should pretend to know exactly how Saban will exit the University of Alabama and coaching as a whole, but it won't be that tragic and messy.

Saban joined Stephen A. Smith's "Know Mercy Podcast" to discuss a variety of things, his eventual retirement being one of them.

"I basically love what I do," said Saban. "I love the relationships with the players. I love trying to build a team with a group of people. Now that's a lot of fun, and I enjoy doing that."

"I'm also very aware that I don't want to ever ride the program down. In other words, there's going to come a time when my age and my circumstance, everybody's going to be able to tell somebody 'well, he's not gonna be there. I mean, How long is he going to coach? Til he's 90?' And that will start to affect the program maybe in an adverse way. I don't want to get there," said Saban.

Knowing you never want to get there and knowing when you're there are two completely different things. Whether Saban will know is yet to be seen, but he certainly isn't there now.

He just signed the No. 1 recruiting class in the country (again), is coming off a 10+ win season (again), and just signed a huge contract extension (again). He is far from riding the program down.

And while Saban occasionally spars with the media, it is almost always in an effort to make a larger point or to start a conversation. Seldom are his podium rampages the product of ill-will, and seldom are they received poorly by the media and fan base. In fact, for much of Saban's career, he has been endeared for his rants.

So Tide fans have nothing to worry about. When their long-tenured, all-time great coach retires, it won't follow thinly-veiled shots between him and the school and it won't include a messy news release.

It will be a graceful ride off into the sunset for the greatest coach to ever walk the sidelines.

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