Nick Saban is making headlines this week after a story about his experience with NIL surfaced. The now viral story tells of the Alabama head coach turning prospects away due to unreasonable demands.
That decision has many in the college football community applauding the national championship winning leader, including coaches from SEC rival schools.
Saban reportedly denied both high school recruits and potential transfers after their “NIL” asks in Tuscaloosa. He’s not in the business of negotiating contracts for his Crimson Tide players.
And you can’t necessarily blame him.
NIL has already gone astray from its original intent, which was to compensate players for name, image, and likeness. Instead, it’s turned into free agency with players shopping their talents around for the best deal.
We’ve heard stories of tampering within the transfer market (the Jordan Addison saga comes to mind). We’ve also heard of extreme asks from incoming freshmen, most recently, Jaden Rashada’s $13M agreement with Florida which ultimately fell through.
So, when Nick Saban was approached by players with similar demands, he kindly told them to kick rocks.
When speaking on a particular recruit that asked for a near $1M deal before stepping onto campus, he said the following.
“Someone with one of the best corners in the nation (in high school) came to me and asked if we’d pay them $800,000 for the player to sign here. I told him he can find another place to play. I’m not paying a kid a bunch of NIL money before he earns it.”
And apparently, he has no issue turning away his own players. Here’s another tidbit about an offensive lineman who was already on the roster, but eventually transferred because Saban wouldn’t agree to his terms.
“He wanted $500,000 and for us to get his girlfriend into law school at Alabama and pay for it. I showed him the door.”
Fans on social media were quick to applaud the head coach for his stance on NIL. Here’s what people were saying.
One person wrote, “Good job Coach. NIL is ruining college football.
Another commented, “I don’t blame Nick Saban, if true.”
Even Lane Kiffin agreed with the outlook, retweeting the story on his Twitter account.
At some point, the NCAA will need to put some parameters on NIL and the transfer portal. Until then, we’ll continue to see these types of stories on the recruiting trail.