Texas A&M’s top-ranked 2022 recruiting class has long been on the receiving end of murmurs surrounding how, exactly, coach Jimbo Fisher signed more five-star prospects in one class than he had in his entire Aggies tenure prior to this offseason. That’s life for college football’s elite recruiting programs. On Wednesday night, however, Alabama coach Nick Saban said the quiet part out loud — and it was far from the only thing he had to get off his chest.
Speaking at a 50-day countdown event for the World Games, Saban touched on the ways name, image and likeness (NIL) has impacted the game. He didn’t pull any punches in the process. Specifically, Saban went straight for Texas A&M as an example of what’s wrong with NIL, flatly accusing the Aggies of buying their recruits through NIL deals and setting off an offseason feud for the ages.
“It’s going to be difficult for the people who are spending tons of money to get players,” Saban said as part of a 7-minute answer to a question about NIL that was recorded and published 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.
“A&M bought every player on their team — made a deal for name, image and likeness. We didn’t buy one player. But I don’t know if we’re going to be able to sustain that in the future because more and more people are doing it.”
Saban called NIL “a great concept for players,” noting that Alabama football players “created $3 million worth of opportunity for themselves by doing it the right way” in the past year. “And I have no problem with that, and nobody had a problem on our team with that because the guys that