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Monday, May 20, 2024

Nick Saban Blames NIL for Alabama’s No. 2 Recruiting Class

  • Alabama’s Nick Saban said that name, image, and likeness deals were skewing the recruiting landscape.
  • Texas A&M coach Jimbo Fisher provided a withering response.
Nick Saban highest paid college football head coach.
Butch Dill-USA TODAY Sports

At an event on Wednesday night, Alabama’s Nick Saban said that name, image, and likeness deals were skewing the recruiting landscape — and that those NIL deals are the reason the Crimson Tide didn’t score the top class this year.

Saban, who has won seven national championships, bemoaned that Texas A&M’s collective deals paved the way for the Aggies’ No. 1 recruiting class designation. “A&M bought every player on their team.”

Texas A&M coach Jimbo Fisher provided a withering response, saying his team has not committed any violation. He invited reporters to “dig into” his former boss’ past, implying Saban is a rule-breaker

“It’s despicable that a reputable coach could come out and say this when things don’t go his way.”

  • More generally, Saban decried the use of NIL collectives — groups composed of donors, boosters, and/or alumni who pool funds to offer athletes deals.
  • He claimed that at other schools, “the coach actually knows how much money is in the collective, so he knows how much money he can promise players.”

Last week, the NCAA provided updated guidance attacking collectives and boosters that offer recruiting-related deals — and claimed it’s going to investigate.

Saban’s NIL Plan

Either way, Alabama players have fared well. Saban said 25 athletes made a total of $3 million last year, in a way he claims was aboveboard.

He did acknowledge Alabama has a collective — but said it would offer the same amount to every player.

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