Alabama coach Nick Saban shook up the SEC world, and college football world, on Wednesday when he flat-out accused Texas A&M of buying every player they recruited last season.
Aggies head coach Jimbo Fisher responded on Thursday with an epic press conference rebuttal, in which he called the charges “despicable” and inferred that Saban might not want people to “dig” into how he became as successful as he is.
While the whole college football world is talking and Paul Finebaum was left “gobsmacked” by the whole thing, Texas A&M athletic director Ross Bjork is now saying that Saban violated SEC bylaws with his rant.
TAMU AD Ross Bjork to @SInow: “I don’t know why Nick Saban would say what he said except he’s threatened. There is a saying … an emperor who loses their dynasty lashes out.
“I guess people don’t like A&M disrupting the power base of college football.”https://t.co/ShiVBppIBv
— Ross Dellenger (@RossDellenger) May 19, 2022
“I don’t know why Nick Saban would say what he said except he’s threatened,” Bjork told Sports Illustrated. “There is a saying … an emperor who loses their dynasty lashes out. He seems to be making excuses.
“This is personal. Coach Fisher views this as a personal attack on his integrity and on Texas A&M’s integrity,” Bjork continued. “To have personal attacks, to say that the only reason A&M is [recruiting well] is NIL money is wrong.”
Bjork told SI that he believes Saban violated SEC bylaws on sportsmanship and it could cause the league to issue a reprimand to the Alabama head coach.
What A&M is referring to in those pesky SEC bylaws pic.twitter.com/25ndAeysca
— Bryan Fischer (@BryanDFischer) May 19, 2022
“There are sportsmanship bylaws in the SEC. We believe Coach Saban violated those bylaws,” Bjork says. “Everyone knows NIL is here to stay. We’ve embraced it. We have all the tools and technology. We are educating our athletes and boosters. There is all kinds of awareness here. The part that is frustrating is to say NIL is the only reason kids are choosing our program. That is hypocritical, and I don’t know why we are the target.
“A&M has a huge former student base. The Aggie network is strong. We’ve rebuilt Kyle Field and joined the SEC. I guess people don’t like A&M disrupting the power base of college football.”
The AD said that he has reached out to SEC commissioner Greg Sankey over the comments. The SEC did not reply to a request to comment and Alabama’s spokesperson did not respond to comment.
If Saban was hoping to detail Texas A&M’s ascension in the SEC with his comments, it appears that he’s done the opposite and galvanized the school to dig in even deeper.
The October 8 game between Texas A&M and Alabama can’t get here soon enough.