Nick Saban of Alabama remains against the current NIL system, regrets excluding schools

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Nick Saban of Alabama apologized for spotting Texas A&M manager Jimbo Fisher and Jackson State manager Deion Sanders for his remarks about schools paying recruits to play soccer.

Saban said ESPN turned on Thursday he didn’t mean to suggest that schools were cheating, but he said he doesn’t like schools that use name, image and similarity (NIL) agreements to essentially buy players. He said using collectives and things like that wasn’t good for college football.

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Texas A&M Aggies head coach Jimbo Fisher speaks in midfield with Alabama Crimson Tide head coach Nick Saban at Bryant-Denny Stadium on September 22, 2018 in Tuscaloosa, Alabama.

Texas A&M Aggies head coach Jimbo Fisher speaks in midfield with Alabama Crimson Tide head coach Nick Saban at Bryant-Denny Stadium on September 22, 2018 in Tuscaloosa, Alabama.
(Wesley Hitt / Getty Images)

“Look, I should never have spotted anyone, and I wasn’t saying any of those schools did anything wrong,” Saban said. “I didn’t mean they were buying players, but more than that you can buy players now, and it’s totally legal. You’re just using name, image and likeness to do it. What I’m saying is it’s not good for the game and will only get worse unless there is no federal legislation. “

Saban said he doesn’t want to get into a public affair with Fisher, who was an assistant under the legendary college football coach while the two were at LSU in the early 2000s.

“Jimbo can say what he wants to say. We have known each other for a long time. He has worked for me and is a very good coach. As I said, it was not my intention to exclude anyone, but not” not to take things personally. Some people when they compete against each other, everything is personal. It has never been like this for me. Bill Belichick and I are best friends. We have been in the same division for two years [in the NFL] when I was in Miami and never had any problems, “he said.

JIMBO FISHER OF TEXAS A&M BLAST NICK SABAN FOR NIL OBSERVATIONS: “MAYBE SOMEONE SLAPPED HER”

12 October 2019; College Station, TX, USA; Alabama Crimson Tide head coach Nick Saban and Texas A&M Aggies head coach Jimbo Fisher shake hands as the match ends at Kyle Field.

12 October 2019; College Station, TX, USA; Alabama Crimson Tide head coach Nick Saban and Texas A&M Aggies head coach Jimbo Fisher shake hands as the match ends at Kyle Field.
(John Glaser-USA TODAY Sports)

“I’m not against the NIL. I’m against bidding on high school players. I’m against lawyers, collectives and others standing between the money and the players. Is that really what we want it to be in college football?”

Saban accused Texas A&M for purchasing players and claimed that the state of Jackson paid recruit Travis Hunter $ 1 million to overturn his commitment from the state of Florida to the HBCU. Fisher and Sanders both denied the allegation.

Fisher addressed Saban’s remarks at a heated press conference Thursday.

“Some people think they are God. Find out how God made his covenant. You may find out about a guy, a lot of things you don’t want to know. We build him to be this soccer czar. Go dig into his past or anyone who has ever coached. with him. You can find out anything you want to find out what he does and how he does it, “Fisher said.

He denied that the Aggies broke any rules when they hit No. 1st class of recruitment in 2022.

“I’m not cheating. I’m not lying. If you did, my old man slapped me in the face. Maybe someone should have slapped him (Saban),” Fisher said.

In this photo on Saturday, September 11, 2021, Texas A&M head coach Jimbo Fisher argues with a referee in the second half of an NCAA college football game against Colorado in Denver. Texas A&M play in Arkansas on Saturday 25 September 2021.
(Photo AP / David Zalubowski, File)

Sanders said in a tweeting what Saban claimed was a lie.

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For what it’s worth, Alabama and Texas A&M will meet on Oct. 8th.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.