Alabama head coach Nick Saban did not exactly back down from his NIL stance when talking to reporters on Tuesday at SEC spring meetings.
The 70-year-old acknowledged, for the second time, that it was wrong to call out Texas A&M specifically for using name, image and likeness deals to lure top recruits, but added that he was not accusing anyone of breaking the rules.
“I didn’t really say that anybody did anything wrong,” Saban said.
Per ESPN, a reporter interjected and told Saban he accused Texas A&M “bought every player.”
“I didn’t say anybody did anything wrong, OK, and I’ve said everything I’m gonna say about this,” he said. “I should have never mentioned any individual institutions, and I said that before.”
Saban’s exact words, two weeks ago, were: “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. We didn’t buy one player. But I don’t know if we will be able to sustain that in the future because more and more people are doing it.”
This led to an outcry from Texas A&M head coach Jimbo Fisher, who called Saban “despicable” and a “narcissist.”
On Tuesday, Saban said he has “no problem with Jimbo at all.”
Saban has long been supportive of college athletes making money but has advocated for more transparency and protection of student-athletes signing NIL deals and to eliminate the influence of boosters.
“Boosters should continue to be precluded from recruiting, including use of name, image and likeness offers prior to enrollment,” Saban said. “I just hope we can sort of put some guardrails on all this.”