Last month, Alabama head football coach Nick Saban went on a rampage, claiming that Jimbo Fisher and Texas A&M basically “bought” all of the players to compile the number one recruiting class in the nation.
Saban said in the fiery video:
“I mean, we were second in recruiting last year. A&M was first. A&M bought every player on their team — made a deal for name, image, likeness.
We didn’t buy one player, all right? But I don’t know if we’re gonna be able to sustain that in the future because more and more people are doing it. It’s tough.”
Nick Saban says Texas A&M bought every recruit on their team and Alabama didn’t buy any of theirs. Get your popcorn and head to the comments! pic.twitter.com/E4QoiDT5om
Saban then noted that his players at Bama made around a total of $3 million in NIL (Name, Image, and Likeness) money last season, doing it “the right way.”
Of course, according to Fortune,players can’t be directly paid by school boosters, unless they set up an organization that channels money to the athletes.
A&M head coach Jimbo Fisher was quick to dismiss these claims that the school “bought” their number one recruiting class, giving a fiery and whiny response (as Jimbo does):
It’s a shame that we have to do this. It’s really despicable… these are 17 year old kids. We never bought anybody. No rules were broken. Nothing was done wrong. And the way we do things, it’s despicable that a reputable head coach could come out and say this when he doesn’t get his way.
Some people think they’re God. Go dig into how God did his deal. You may find out about a guy a lot of things you don’t wanna know. We build him up to be the czar of football. Go dig into his past or anybody that’s ever coached with him… it’s despicable.
And I know the guy, I know him really well. I hate it for out players who are coming here.”
You already know that there’s no way that Fisher would tell the world even if the school did pay the players straight up, as that would lead to an insane shitstorm, and a ton of ramifications to go along with it.
However, on a recent recruiting trip, one of A&M’s recruiters may have accidentally told on himself, as he was caught on the hot mic saying to recruits in the stadium:
“Y’all getting a lot of money from the people behind these suites if you decide to come play here.”
“Y’all getting a lot of money from the people behind these suites if you decide to come play here”
We aren’t stupid, we all know boosters have been paying players and/or doing sketchy stuff behind closed doors for a ton of years until the NIL was created for last season. And now that NIL deals are taking place, basically every school is using it to their advantage to recruit players.
Nothing he’s saying is wrong or illegal (probably), and every school is making the same pitch right now.
Nevertheless, it’s hilarious to hear a someone on staff blatantly admit it when Jimbo blatantly denied it, seeming to argue that their #1 recruiting crass ahead of the 2022 season was all about kids wanting to come and be an Aggie and not about money.
Sounds like there’s a little more to that decision than just wanting to play football in College Station… where they haven’t won a National title since 1939.