Nick Saban coming off as condescending and brash when speaking to the media is not a surprise, but Wednesday’s rant accusing Jackson State and Texas A&M of buying players was next level, even for him.
“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, and likeness,” Saban said. “We didn’t buy one player. Aight? 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. It’s tough.”
Despite the NIL rant, Saban’s going to have a hard time convincing people to feel bad for him and the Alabama Crimson Tide. SEC media icon Paul Finebaum joined ESPN’s Get Up Thursday morning to discuss the controversy and he didn’t sympathize with Saban’s disdain for the NIL landscape in college sports. Even Finebaum, who knows Saban as well as any media member, was stunned by the rant’s accusations, comparing it to an erupted volcano.
.@finebaum reacts to Nick Saban's comments about Jimbo Fisher.
"For Nick Saban, the greatest coach of all time, to go public and accuse one of his biggest rivals of essentially cheating … is really stunning. … This was way off script." pic.twitter.com/v63m6wazED
— Get Up (@GetUpESPN) May 19, 2022
“I am gobsmacked by what he said,” Finebaum said. “For Nick Saban, the greatest coach of all time, to go public and accuse one of his biggest rivals of essentially cheating – although that’s open for interpretation – is really stunning.”
“He has insinuated this in the past, but one thing you have to remember about Nick Saban, he always is complimentary towards everyone else, even when you know it’s passive-aggressive,” Finebaum continued. “But this was way off script.”
“I think he’s very worried,” Finebaum said of Saban. “Some people will say ‘Alabama has everything going for them.’ They do…however, they do not have as deep of pockets to buy players as Texas A&M. Texas is an oil-rich state, Alabama is not. And I think that’s what really concerns Saban here.”