Alabama’s Nick Saban elaborates on the runaway Nile: “[Texas] A&M bought every player on their team’


Alabama's Nick Saban elaborates on the runaway Nile: "[Texas] A&M bought every player on their team'

Texas A&M’s top-tier recruit class for 2022 has long been on the receiving end of rumors about exactly how coach Jimbo Fisher signed more five-star prospects in a class than in his entire tenure at Aggies prior to this offseason. That’s life for college football’s elite recruiting programs. On Wednesday night, however, Alabama coach Nick Saban said the soft part out loud — and it wasn’t nearly the only thing he had to take off his chest.

At a 50-day countdown event for the World Games, Saban spoke about how Name, Image and Likeness (NIL) influenced the game. He didn’t pull any punches. Specifically, Saban went straight to Texas A&M as an example of what’s wrong with NIL and flatly accused the Aggies of buying their recruits through NIL deals and spark an offseason feud for eternity

“It’s going to be difficult for people who are spending tons of money to get players,” Saban said as part of a 7-minute response to a question about NIL recorded and published by “You read about her. You know who you are. We were second in recruitment last year. [Texas] A&M was the first.

“A&M bought every player on their team – made a deal on name, image and likeness. We didn’t buy a single player. But I don’t know if we can keep it going in the future because more and more people are doing it.”

Calling NIL “a great concept for players,” Saban noted that over the past year, Alabama football players “created $3 million worth of opportunities for themselves by getting it right.” “And I don’t have a problem with that and nobody on our team had a problem with that because the guys who got the money deserved it,” he added. “On our team there were only 25 guys who had the opportunity to make money.”

This isn’t the first time Texas A&M has faced barbs over its elite class, although previous allegations have come mostly anonymously from college football fans — not the mouths of the the most important coach of the sport. Fisher, a former Saban aide, fired back Thursday at the notion that NIL played a role in his program’s recruiting success.

“It is despicable that we have to sit here at this level and say these things to defend the people of this organization, the children, 17-year-old children and their families,” he said. said fisherman. “It is amazing. Some people think they are God. Explore how ‘God’ made his deal. You may learn a lot of things you don’t want to know.”

Saban’s comments Wednesday night weren’t just aimed at Texas A&M (Jackson State also took a stray). In fact, during his 7-minute response, he provided a clear perspective on NIL, including its significant benefits to players and potentially disastrous unintended consequences for collegiate sports as a whole.

Here’s what else the Crimson Tide coach had to say on the subject.

NCAA enforcement is in a near impossible position

The NCAA Board new NIL guidelines issued this month with intent to crack down on third-party booster collectives masquerading pay-for-play deals as NIL. While the guidance aims to address individual cases going forward, the NCAA said it “could pursue the most outrageous violations that were clearly at odds with the transition policy enacted last summer.” Saban explained why enforcing these policies will be difficult.

“People blame the NCAA, but in defense of the NCAA, we’re where we are because of the litigation that the NCAA has [for] the transfer portal. If the NCAA doesn’t get some litigation protection — whether we need to get an antitrust agency [exemption] or whatever it is from the federal government’s perspective — that’s not going to change because they can’t enforce their rules. …

“Jackson State paid a guy who was a really good Division I player $1 million last year to come to their school. It was in the newspaper and they bragged about it. Nobody did anything about it. These guys in Miami who go there to buy basketball for $400,000; it’s in the newspaper. The guy tells you how he does it. But the NCAA can’t enforce their rules because it’s not against the law, and that’s a problem. That’s a problem. Unless we have something to protect them from lawsuits, I don’t know what we’re going to do about it.”

NIL without enforcement will endanger college sports

Saban also reiterated his April stern warning about NIL’s sustainability in college football when he asked if “this is what we want college football to be.” He’s hardly the only one to voice this concern, but with NIL deals already rampant in collegiate athletics, adapting to this world seems like the only option – no matter how difficult it might be.

“It’s not our job to get you to go to school here. I don’t know how you manage a dressing room – and I don’t know if this is a sustainable model. I know we will lose recruits because someone else will be willing to pay them more. …

“I’m afraid at some point they’ll just say, ‘We have to pay the players.’ If we start paying players, we have to eliminate esports, and that’s all bad for college esports.

“We probably have 450 scholarship holders [in total] in Alabama. … non-revenue sports [athletes] who have been able to make a better living for years and years because they could get scholarships and compete in college athletics. That’s what collegiate athletics is supposed to be. It shouldn’t be something where people come and make money and you decide where you go to school based on how much money you’re going to make.”

Unregulated collectives are a big problem

Saban explained that collectives, which have emerged as intermediaries for players to receive NIL benefits from boosters and alumni, are perhaps the most important element of NIL that needs to be regulated to create a level playing field.

“The problem and the problem with name, image and likeness is that coaches are trying to gain an advantage. They went out and said, ‘Okay, how can we use this to our advantage?’ They have set up what they call a “collective”…an outside marketing agency that is not affiliated with the university and is funded by university alumni. … This marketing agency then forwards it to the players. The coach actually knows how much money is in the collective, so he knows how much he can promise each player. That’s not what name, picture and likeness should be. It has become, and that is the problem in collegiate athletics right now. …

“Now in recruiting we have players in our state who grew up wanting Alabama that they wouldn’t commit to us unless we say we’re going to give them what someone else will give them. My theory is that everything we did in college athletics was always the same. [Saban refers to scholarships, cost of attendance, etc.] … I said to our players, ‘We’re going to have a collective, but everyone is going to get an equal amount of opportunity from that collective.'”

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