The proliferation of name, image, and likeness money is causing chaos for college football. Which has caused chaos between Alabama coach Nick Saban and a pair of his colleagues.
A day after Saban singled out Texas A&M and Jackson State, prompting strong reactions from Jimbo Fisher and Deion Sanders, respectively, Saban said he was wrong to single them out in suggesting that they bought players with NIL money.
“I should have been more specific when I said ‘bought’ in saying you can buy players now through name, image and likeness and never mentioned any specific school and just said ‘across the sport,’” Saban said. “That’s on me. But other than that, I don’t have any regrets over what I said Wednesday.”
Saban claims that he’s speaking out because he doesn’t want to adopt the if-you-can’t-beat-em-join-em approach.
“I don’t want to go down that road of bidding for players out of high school,” Saban said. “I don’t. But if we go through this recruiting class this year and we lose all the players, because they’re making a hundred thousand dollars going someplace else, then what can you do?”
But if he could do it, wouldn’t he already be doing it? This notion that Saban is complaining about the rules before exploiting them continues to seem naive. He would just exploit them, if he could. He’s complaining because he can’t.
“This is not professional sports,” Saban said. “I mean, we have free agency and no salary cap. That’s basically what we have, right? There’s no professional league that has that circumstance because none of them are stupid enough to have it, and that’s what we have.”
That’s what you have, Nick, because that’s what you deserve. Decades of exploitation of players has brought about chaos. Now, you and every other coach has to deal with it.
If you don’t like it, get out. You can do it, thanks to all the money you made during the years that the players got none of it.