Nick Saban Gary Cosby Jr.-USA TODAY Sports

Since he retired from Alabama in January, former Crimson Tide coach Nick Saban has been on a crusade to change college athletics, particularly the NIL, which is Name, Image, and Likeness.

Saban has been saying that the NCAA, or even the government, needs to control NIL. Saban was on Capitol Hill Tuesday to discuss NIL and the problems of it not being regulated in college athletics.

“The whole idea of boosters being able to contribute to collectives which really establishes a pay-for-play model,” Saban said. “I don’t think is in the best interest of college athletics in the future, nor the participants — the student-athletes themselves. It doesn’t enhance them creating value for their future like we were all dedicated to for many, many years.”

Republican Ted Cruz from Texas, who was part of the Senate Commerce Committee, asked Saban if this was the reason he retired from the sport.

“All the things I believed in for all these years, 50 years of coaching, no longer exists in college athletics. So it was always about developing players. It was always about helping people be more successful in life,” he said. “My wife even said to me, we had all the recruits over on Sunday, and she would always meet with the mothers about how she was going to help impact their sons and they’d be well taken care of. She came to me right before I retired and said ‘Why are we doing this?’ I said what do you mean? She said ‘All they care about is how much you’re going to pay them. They don’t care about how much you’re going to develop them, which is what we’ve always done. So why are we doing this?

In the past, Saban has said he is not against players being paid, he just thinks they should earn their keep such as former Bama quarterback Bryce Young, whom Saban said had numerous NIL deals that he earned from his strong play.

“Bryce Young had a Nissan deal that was a national deal, he had a BMW deal that was a national deal, he had a Dr. Pepper deal- he earned those. That’s what NIL was supposed to be. It wasn’t supposed to be an opportunity for us to create something to pay players. Because this genie is out of the bottle, we should create something to revenue share AND still have those NIL opportunities for players who earn that and have that type of brand.”

Some media members and fans, however, think Saban is just whining and upset that NIL is affecting Alabama.

Others think that what Saban is saying is right and that the NIL needs to be regulated because it’s getting out of hand.

Whatever his reasoning may be, Saban had an audience of Congressional members and millions of college football fans to hear his plea. It will be interesting to see if the NCAA follows his lead and does something about it.

{, Sidelines Bama)

About Stacey Mickles

Stacey is a 1995 graduate of the University of Alabama who has previously worked for other publications such as Sportskeeda and Saturday Down South.