Nick Saban is piping hot mad.
The Alabama football coach went on a lengthy rant against Texas A&M and accused the Aggies of buying players via name, image, and likeness (NIL) deals. Saban spoke Wednesday night at a conference in Birmingham and took issue with how Texas A&M was able to attain the No. 1 recruiting class in 2022.
“I know the consequence is going to be difficult for the people who are spending tons of money to get players,” Saban said, via AL.com. “You read about it, you know who they are. We were second in recruiting last year. A&M was first. A&M bought every player on their team. Made a deal for name, image and likeness.
“We didn’t buy one player. Aight? But I don’t know if we’re going to be able to sustain that in the future, because more and more people are doing it. It’s tough.”
Saban wasn’t finished as he also accused smaller schools of making big money deals for players. He accused Jackson State of paying a player $1 million to come to the school, referencing Travis Hunter flipping his commitment to the school from Florida State.
Deion Sanders has denied that accusation.
“We have a rule right now that said you cannot use name, image, and likeness to entice a player to come to your school. Hell, read about it in the paper,” Saban said. “I mean, Jackson State paid a guy a million dollars last year that was a really good Division I player to come to school. It was in the paper and they bragged about it. Nobody did anything about it.”
Saban made it a point to state that he does not care about players making money on NIL deals, but he does take issue with how schools are allegedly exploiting the current system. He said the NCAA can’t enforce their rules “because it’s not against the law.”
Because of that, he says recruits in Alabama won’t commit to the Crimson Tide unless they match or beat whatever they’re getting from other schools.
“The thing that I fear is at some point in time, they’re just going to say, ‘We’re going to have to pay players. If we start paying players, we’re going to have to eliminate sports,'” Saban added. “This is all bad for college sports. I mean, we probably have 450 people on scholarship at Alabama, whether they’re women’s tennis players, softball players, golfers, baseball players — non-revenue sports that have, for years and years and years been able to create a better life for themselves because they’ve been able to get scholarships and participate in college athletics.
“That’s what college athletics is supposed to be. It’s not supposed to be something where people come to make money and you make a decision about where you go to school based on how much money you’re going to make. You should make a decision based on where you have the best chance to develop as a person, as a student and as a player, which is what we’ve always tried to major in and we’re going to continue to that. Hopefully there’s enough people out there that will want to do it.”