Saban has long been a critic of both NIL deals and the new transfer portal rules and decided to call out both Jackson State head coach Deion Sanders and Fisher for their recruiting tactics.
While Saban continues to blast the idea of NIL being a sustainable thing in college sports, Kiffin believes that athletes should be paid and that NIL can work with a few adjustments made in the method of how it is done.
“We’re a professional sport,” Kiffin told Sports Illustrated’s Ross Dellenger on Wednesday, “And they are professional players.”
“I’ve said from the beginning, players should get paid. They do the work,” said Kiffin. “Why that should be limited to a scholarship check, I disagree with. And they shouldn’t be [paid] all equal. That’s not what happens in the real world. Why does their best player get paid the same as their worst player? That’s not real life.”
While Kiffin seems to be all for players getting paid, he thinks that the system that is currently in place needs to be adjusted a bit to make it fair for every program.
“The thing that seems simple is there’s a cap,” said Kiffin. “How are we not a professional sport? What is the difference? [Players] are making money. They can opt into free agency. We’re a professional sport, and they are professional players. Contracted employees without contracts. They can get out whenever they want.”
Kiffin added that he believes that Alabama quarterback Bryce Young should have entered the transfer portal, even if he intended to come back to Alabama, just to see how much more he could get in NIL deals to return to the school.
It appears that Kiffin is more willing to adjust to the current climate of college sports than Saban, and that may play a big role in how well Ole Miss competes in the ever-competitive SEC conference for years to come.