Nick Saban’s press conference on the second day of the SEC’s football media days takes a different tone than the harsher words the coach shared earlier in the offseason. In May, unable to come to terms with Texas A&M’s recruiting class under Jimbo Fisher, Saban lambasted the integrity of paying players. Two months later, Saban sings a different tune.
Speaking to an eager press corps in Atlanta, Saban says, “Name, image and likeness is not an issue for us at Alabama, and our players, I think, did better than anybody in the country last year.”
The comments come after the coach seemingly patched up his relationship with Fisher. Accusing the Aggies of buying “every player on the team”, Saban seems proud of Alabama’s ability to market the roster for more than $3 million.
However, regardless of the financial success of his own players, Saban still believes in stronger NIL guidelines. The 70-year-old says, “There’s no competitive sport anywhere that doesn’t have guidelines on how they maintain some kind of competitive balance. And I think that’s important to college football.”
The Random Hypocrisy of Nick Saban
Nick Saban stirring the SEC pot in mid-July? It just means more. When asked about building in-state rivalries via non-conference games, the coach’s response raised a few eyebrows.
The thing is… the history doesn’t back up Saban’s claims. It’s possible Alabama schools don’t want to face one of the sport’s premier powerhouses. However, it’s not a flattering look for the Crimson Tide head honcho. It looks more like an unchecked statement trying to give a soundbite.
Furthermore, it highlights the hypocrisies in Saban’s full presser. Maybe the coach has changed his aged viewpoint. However, in the era of NIL, boasting monetary success after scolding another school’s usage is short-sighted. While Saban and Fisher appear on better terms, it cannot possibly resonate well with the A&M coach.