Saban had been having issues with MSU’s higher-ups. Already, he had been bypassing an athletic director for whom he had little regard, Merritt Norvell, and was dealing directly with MSU President M. Peter McPherson. But neither was that relationship purring. There were money and contract issues. Saban was being told no by McPherson on a bonus clause, geared to the stock market, that was due to pay Saban $150,000. McPherson balked.
Source: Detroit News