Deion Sanders responds again to Nick Saban for NIL comments: 'This ain't about me'

By , Audacy

Deion Sanders has an impressive resume as both a football player and coach, so he’s as baffled as everyone else that Nick Saban took aim at him the way he did.

Saban went scorched earth on two coaches in particular, Sanders and Jimbo Fisher, for supposedly paying for players via Name, Image and Likeness (NIL) deals. That statement was bizarre on multiple levels, one that was quickly refuted by both Fisher and Sanders.

During his time as a football player, Sanders was elite. As a coach and recruiter, the early returns are highly promising.

It’s for that reason that Sanders was “stung” by the comments Sanders made.

"I’m a critical thinker. This one ain’t about me," Sanders said on the "I Am Athlete" podcast. "When I look through the smoke and through the fire, Coach Saban used me and used Jimbo Fisher as pawns in his plea for help from his boosters and his donors. We were just pawns. He was really going at his people to up the ante so that he could outdo Coach Fisher. Now, they just threw me in the fire because of what we accomplished in recruiting with Kevin Coleman and Travis (Hunter) and some others. They just threw us in the fire because he was the spokesman for all SEC and he was the spokesman for all the Power Fives. … So I don’t blame him, man. I know what he’s trying to do. ...

“The thing that stung was that -- so you feel like it’s no connectivity to the culture and our people -- that the only way we could do that is we pay them?” Sanders also said. “So it’s no way that I can secure a Power Five caliber player? He said a D1 player -- a D1 caliber player or something of that nature -- like he chose something less to participate in over what they can offer.”

Sanders made clear that he wants to have it out with Saban publicly, and that handling things privately isn’t the right route to take. After all, it was Saban who made the comments in a public forum in the first place.

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