The college athlete pay debate just got even more controversial.
It hasn’t even been a year since it was ruled legal for players to receive checks from name, image, and likeness (NIL) deals, and Alabama’s head football coach Nick Saban is already hating on it. While at a 50-day countdown event for the World Games, Saban dug into the most recent recruiting season by saying that Jimbo Fisher’s Texas A&M “bought” every player on their team with the help of those newfound NIL deals.
“It’s going to be difficult for the people who are spending tons of money to get players,” Saban said, as reported by AL.com. “You’ve read about them. You know who they are. We were second in recruiting last year. [Texas] A&M was first.
The Aggies weren’t the only team trashed in the rant; Jackson State got dissed as well for how the institution got a player — likely Travis Hunter Jr.– to sign a National Letter of intent. Not only did Hunter initially commit to the Florida State Seminoles, but the talented cornerback is also ranked No. 1 in the country.
“Jackson State paid a guy $1 million last year who was a really good Division I player to come to their school,” said Saban. “It was in the paper, and they bragged about it. No one did anything about it.”
Saban’s referring to the since refuted rumor that Hunter received a cool $1 million through a Barstool Sports NIL deal.
Jackson State’s head coach is none other than 2-time Super Bowl Champ Deion Sanders, and he wasn’t afraid to clap back at Saban’s claims.
“You best believe I will address that LIE Coach SABAN told tomorrow,” Sanders wrote on Twitter. “I was & awakened by my son @ShedeurSanders that sent me the article stating that WE PAYED @TravisHunterJr a Million to play at @GoJSUTigersFB ! We as a PEOPLE don’t have to pay our PEOPLE to play with our PEOPLE.”
The SEC is already heating up, and the season hasn’t even kicked off yet.