It’s a good thing that Alabama and Texas A&M are scheduled to face each other next season, because they have a score to settle.
Nick Saban spoke to business leaders at a dinner party in Birmingham, Alabama, on Wednesday ahead of the World Games in the city. The Alabama coach was once again critical of the way some programs are violating the Name, Image and Likeness rules. This time, Saban mentioned Texas A&M by name and singled them out.
“I know the consequence is going to be difficult for the people who are spending tons of money to get players. You read about it, you know who they are. 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, via AL.com’s Mike Rodak.
“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.”
Those are direct shots at A&M, which has faced all kinds of allegations over its recruiting methods. According to 247Sports, Texas A&M has the No.1-ranked recruiting class, while Alabama is ranked second.
Is Saban trying to get NIL rules enforced strictly? Or is he trying to get Alabama business leaders to step up and fund the program? For now, it seems like he is just trying to put it on the record that he’s not violating rules, while A&M is.
A&M coach Jimbo Fisher is a former Saban assistant. Last year, he became the first former Saban assistant to beat the mastermind.
This year, the teams are set to face off in Tuscaloosa on Oct. 8. There is no doubt that the Tide will have that game circled. It could get ugly.