Saban accuses Texas A&M of buying players through name, image and likeness deals

University of Alabama head football coach Nick Saban accuses Southeastern Conference (SEC) rival Texas A&M University of buying top rookies through deals NCAA Name, Image and Likeness (NIL).

Texas A&M, coached by former Saban assistant coach Jimbo Fisher, handed Alabama its only regular season loss last year.

“I know the consequence will be difficult for people who spend tons of money to recruit players,” Saban said at an event in Birmingham, Alabama on Wednesday, explaining how paying players for brand deals was a game-changer. reported.

“You read about it, you know who they are. We were second in recruiting last year. A&M was the first. A&M bought all the players from their team. Make a deal for name, image and likeness. We didn’t buy a single player. OK? But I don’t know if we will be able to maintain this in the future, because more and more people are doing it. It’s difficult,” added Saban.

Saban, who won seven national championships during his storied coaching career, also complained about Jackson State University (JSU), a Louisiana-based historically black university coached by the NFL Hall of Fame. , Deion Sanders, who reportedly paid a top rookie $1 million to commit to their football program.

“We currently have a rule that says you cannot use name, image and likeness to entice a player to come to your school. Hell, read it in the newspaper! Saban said at the event. “I mean, Jackson State paid a guy a million dollars last year who was a really good Division I player to come to school. It was in the paper and they were bragging about it. Nobody did nothing about it.

Saban was referring to Travis Hunter, a five-star football prospect who flipped his commitment from Florida State to the Louisiana-based HBCU last December.

Sanders denied a rumor that his school paid Hunter $1.5 million to enroll in the program and called Saban in a tweet on Wednesday.

“You better believe I’m going to respond to what LIE Coach SABAN said tomorrow,” Sanders said in a tweet.

“I was & awakened by my son @ShedeurSanders who sent me the article that WE PAID @TravisHunterJr a million to play @GoJSUTigersFB! As PEOPLE, we don’t have to pay our PEOPLE to play with our PEOPLE.

Last June, the Supreme Court upheld a lower court ruling that the NCAA violated antitrust laws by limiting compensation for student-athletes.

In response to the court’s decision, the NCAA allowed student-athletes to profit from their names, images and likenesses, in accordance with changes made by state lawmakers and school administrators.

Texas A&M’s Fisher has previously called out other SEC coaches who have questioned the integrity of his football program using NIL agreements.

“To have coaches in our league and across this league to say it, clown acts,” Fisher said, according to ESPN. “Irresponsible as can be. Several coaches in our league. And the guys who don’t care about NIL and the transfer portal use it the most and brag about it the most. That’s the ironic part. … It’s a joke It pisses me off.

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