Alabama coach Nick Saban called Texas A&M Wednesday night for “buying” players in his top-tier recruiting class with name, image and likeness offers, saying Crimson Tide football players won more than $ 3 million last year “in the right way.”
“I know the consequence is going to be hard for people who are spending tons of money to get players,” Saban said as he spoke at an event in Birmingham, Alabama, to promote the World Games to be held there in July.
“Read on, you know who I am. Last year we were second in hiring. A&M was the first. A&M bought all the players on its team. It made a deal by name, image and likeness. We didn’t buy a player. But I don’t know. if we can keep it going in the future, because more and more people are doing it. It’s hard. “
Saban’s comments were first published by AL.com and echoed some of the points he made in March during an interview with The Associated Press.
The NCAA lifted most of its rules that prevent athletes from making money from sponsorship and sponsorship deals last July, but there are many concerns in college sports that NIL deals are getting used to as incentives for hiring and paying for actual play .
Last week, the NCAA issued guidelines to Division I members to clarify its rules against impellers involved in recruitment.
On Wednesday night, Saban, 70, who has won six national championships, was more objective in his critique of the current state of college football.
“Now we have a rule that says you can’t use the name, the image, and the like to get a player to come to your school. Hell, read about it in the paper,” Saban said. “Jackson State paid a million dollars to a guy last year who was a very good Division I player to come to school. He was in the newspaper and they bragged about it. No one did anything about it.”
Jackson State and coach Deion Sanders have secured one of the nation’s most valued recruits at midfielder Travis Hunter, who was committed to the state of Florida until a change of signing day in December.
Sanders denied that Jackson State made inadmissible offers to Hunter to get him to sign with the historically black university that competes in the second division of Division I football.
“You better believe I will address what the LYING SABAN coach said tomorrow,” Sanders wrote.
Saban also referred to Miami donor John Ruiz, a billionaire who funded NIL bids for numerous hurricane athletes.
“Those Miami guys who are going to play basketball there for $ 400,000, that’s in the paper,” Saban said. “The guy tells you how he’s doing it.”
But Texas A&M’s comments were closer to home. The Aggies are a rival of the Southeast Conference in the Western Division and coached by former assistant Saban Jimbo Fisher.
The Aggies beat Alabama last season, but finished 8-4 while the Tide won the SEC and played against Georgia for the national championship.
In February, Fisher targeted competitors pushing rumors that Texas A&M would spend $ 30 million on NIL deals to get its star-studded recruiting class.
“Clowns act,” Fisher said. “Multiple coaches in our league.”
Saban said he supports players being able to take advantage of his fame and cited Alabama’s success.
“I told our players when it all started to get agents, to have representation, so you create opportunities for yourself,” he said. “Our players last year created $ 3 million worth of opportunities to do well. I have no problem with that and no one had any problem with our team because the guys who got the money won it. our team who had a chance to make money. “
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