Alabama head football coach Nick Saban, discussing the new landscape of college football, told reporters on day two of SEC Media Days that his players made over $3 million in NIL deals last year.
The last few months have been interesting for Saban, who found himself in a war of words with Texas A&M head coach Jimbo Fisher in May after saying that A&M “bought every player on their team” during the recruiting period.
“Name, Image, and Likeness is a great thing for players,” Saban told reporters on Tuesday. “And I’m all for players having the opportunity to create whatever value theory can create for themselves. Our players did extremely well last year, I think they made over $3 million in Name, Image, and Likeness.
“But I do think that the concerns… there has to be some guidelines that sort of protects competitive balance and how we do this.”
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While Saban said he supports athletes creating value for themselves through NIL, the seven-time national champion expressed concerns over how it is impacting recruiting, with the Alabama coach calling for guidelines when it comes to NIL on the recruiting trail.
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“I think when it’s used in recruiting and players start making choices and decisions based on promises made in Name, Image, and Likeness, I’m not sure that is a good thing,” Saban said Tuesday. “So I do think there need to be some guidelines in that.”
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“And I do think there needs to be some protection for players when it comes to people who represent them and third parties who are involved, people who get between the money and the player because those people have a responsibility and obligation to professionally represent the players in a first-class way. And right now we have no guidelines for any of these things and that’s a bit of a concern.”
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NIL has created a way for players to profit off of the image, which has seriously impacted recruiting as players hope to make as much as possible in their college careers.