BIRMINGHAM, Alabama – Alabama coach Nick Saban on Wednesday night called on Texas A&M to “buy” players in its top-class recruiting for name, image and similarity deals, saying Crimson Tide players earned more than $ 3 million last year “the right way” .
“I know the consequences will be severe for people who spend tons of money to get players,” Saban said, speaking at an event in Birmingham, Alabama, to promote the World Games being held there in July.
“You read about it, you know who they are. Last year we were second in the set. A&M was the first. A&M bought every player on its team. Agreed on name, image and similarities. We didn’t buy a single player. But I don’t know if we can stand it in the future because more and more people are doing it. It’s hard. “
Saban’s first comments were published by AL.com and echoed some of the points he spoke in March during an interview with The Associated Press.
The NCAA repealed most of its rules prohibiting athletes from making money from sponsorship and referral deals last July, but many sports colleges have concerns that NIL deals are used as incentives to hire and de facto pay for the game.
Last week, the NCAA released recommendations to Division I members to clarify their rules against allowing boosters to participate in recruitment.
On Wednesday night, the 70-year-old Saban, who has won six national championships, was more focused in his critique of the current state of student football.
“We have a rule that says you can’t use a name, image and likeness to encourage a player to come to your school. Hell, read about it in the newspaper, ”Saban said. “Jackson State paid a million dollars last year to a guy who was a really good Division I player to come to school. It was in the newspaper, and they bragged about it. Nobody did anything about it. “
State Jackson and coach Dayon Sanders landed one of the highest-ranked recruits in the country towards quarterback Travis Hunter, who was loyal to Florida before the signing day in December.
Sanders denies that Jackson State made any inadmissible offers to Hunter to force him to sign with a historically black college that participates in the second tier of Football Division I.
“You’d better I turn to what coach LIE SABAN said tomorrow,” Sanders tweeted. “We, as a PEOPLE, should not pay our PEOPLE to play with our PEOPLE,” Sanders tweeted.
Saban also referred to Miami donor John Ruiz, a billionaire who funded the NIL deal for many Hurricanes athletes.
“Those guys from Miami who are going to play basketball there for $ 400,000 are in the newspaper,” Saban said. “The guy tells how he does it.”
But Texas A&M’s comments were closest to home. Aggies are a rival of the Southeast Conference in the Western Division and are coached by former Sabana aide Jimbo Fisher.
Last season, Aggies defeated Alabama but finished 8-4, and Tide won the SEC and played Georgia in the national championship.
In February, Fisher went after competitors who spread rumors that Texas A&M had spent $ 30 million on NIL deals to create its stellar recruiting class.
“The clown is acting,” Fisher said. “There are several coaches in our league.”
Saban said he supports players who will be able to earn on their fame, and referred to Alabama’s success.
“I told our players when it all started to acquire agents, get representation so you could create opportunities for yourself,” he said. “Our players last year created for themselves the $ 3 million opportunity to do it right. I have no problem with that, and no one on our team had a problem with that, because the guys who got the money earned it. There were only 25 guys in our team who had the opportunity to earn. “
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