Nick Saban apologizes for singling out Jimbo Fisher, Deion Sanders, elaborates on NIL-related concerns

Alabama coach Nick Saban apologized for singling out Deion Sanders and Jimbo Fisher on NIL issues.
AP Photo/Darron Cummings

Alabama coach Nick Saban issued an apology for singling out Texas A&M and Jackson State in a manner that indicated they had inappropriate NIL dealings during the 2022 recruiting season.

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Saban, however, did not back off his assertions that collegiate sports has a problem with the application of NIL-related dealings, particularly where collectives are concerned.

“I really didn’t mean to single anybody out, I apologize for that,” Saban said on a Sirius XM radio show hosted by Jacob Hester, a former NFL running back who played for Saban at LSU.

“It’s the whole system, and is this a sustainable system, and is it really good for college football?

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Here are some of the takeaways from Saban, who spoke at length about his thoughts on the NIL.

Approves of NIL

“I’m not against Name Image and Likeness, I think it’s a great thing for players. Our players made a lot of money last year in Name Image and Likeness. I told our players to get an agent, get representation, make what you can make. Players have always been able to make and I think that’s a good thing.

“The issue in college athletics in general now is the whole system of collectives and people raising money to basically pay players to come to either school or pay the players that are on their team.”

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System at fault

“A lot of people are concerned about what’s happening and want to understand what’s happening in college football, people want to understand why people are transferring schools and getting money to do it, and I think it’s great that the players can earn money.

“But to make a decision about where you can make the most money, that’s the issue, and I’m not sure that’s good for college athletics, and I think that’s the big picture that we want to focus on in Destin, that I want to focus on in Destin (at the SEC Spring Meetings May 31-June 3).

I really wasn’t saying that anybody did anything illegal, in using Name Image and Likeness. I didn’t say that. But that was something that was assumed by something I said, which is not really what I meant, or was it what I said. There’s nothing illegal about doing this, it’s the system that allows you to do it, and that’s the issue that I have.”

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Concern for collectives

“I think collectives are the issue. If you have people that are representatives of your school and give money to your school, and then the collective turns around and hands it to players on the team — money, I’m not saying opportunities used to represent — than that collective should become a representative of the institution and they should bot be able to give money to a player just like an alumnus can’t give money to a player.

“If I’m an alumnus and I want to go through the marketing agent to create an opportunity for a player, to represent my company, whether it’s Coke, or Mercedes Benz or Tyson Foods or whatever it is, that’s fine, that’s what Name Image and Likeness was supposed to be .

“But if alumni give money, or money is raised, through a collective to use to give the players, that’s no different than the alumni giving the player money, so the collective becomes a representative of the school and can’t do that.”

RELATED: Georgia takes step with launch of Classic City Collectives

Discussing Classic City Collectives related to Georgia

UGA News

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