Saban: Alabama Players Topped $3 Million in NIL Money
Speaking at SEC Media Days in Atlanta, Alabama head football coach Nick Saban says his players have made more than $3 million in name, image and likeness (NIL) money.
Saban has been vocal about his issues with the status quo in NIL deals and their use in recruiting, even though his players have benefited.
“The biggest concern is how does this impact and affect recruiting?” he said Tuesday at SEC Media Days. “On the recruiting trail right now, there’s a lot of people using this as inducements to go to their school by making promises they may or may not be able to keep in terms of what players are doing.
“I think that is what can create a competitive balance issue between the haves and have-nots. We’re one of the haves. Don’t think that what I’m saying is a concern that we have at Alabama because we’re one of the haves.”
The touchy topic boiled over in the offseason after Saban singled out Texas A&M and other schools for using the NIL deals in recruiting. Aggies coach Jimbo Fisher fired back at his former boss and denied any wrongdoing in his program, which landed the No. 1 recruiting class in the country.
“I think they both kind of illustrate the frustration of how things are right now,” Mississippi State coach Mike Leach said. “It’s not sustainable, so something’s going to change.”
Leach says as things stand “college athletes have more privileges than anybody at any other professional level.”
“Go up to your next favorite NFL guy, say: ‘Hey, I heard in the NFL they’re going to have unmitigated free agency, 365, 24/7. And, by the way, there’s not going to be any salary cap or draft, you’re just going to have bidding wars,’” Leach said. “Just watch the expression on their face. Don’t look at anything else or write down any notes because the expression on their face will be well worth it.”
Elsewhere at SEC Media Days, Alabama quarterback Bryce Young says he can’t afford to rest coming off his Heisman Trophy-winning season. That is, after all, old news.
“I don’t feel like I’m a finished product by any means,” Young said. “I have a lot of stuff I want to keep getting better at.
“The way I look at it, it’s an award that celebrates the past, which is an honor, but it doesn’t entitle me to anything in the future.”
Young is trying to join Archie Griffin (1964 and 1965) as the only two-time Heisman winner.
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