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why two star college football coaches are at war

Photograph: Paul Sancya/AP

The biggest feud in US sports right now is not between two rival teams or young-and-hungry athletes, but between a pair of head coaches who qualify for AARP membership. If you guessed that we’re about to discuss college football, you are correct. Last week, Alabama’s Nick Saban and Texas A&M’s Jimbo Fisher traded insults, suggesting that nobody is quite sure how the new era of college football, in which players can now make money from sponsorship deals, is supposed to operate.

Saban shot first. After Texas A&M were named as having this year’s No 1 recruiting class, Saban went on the offensive. “We were second in recruiting last year,” he said, “A&M was first. A&M bought every player on their team. Made a deal for name, image and likeness [NIL]. We didn’t buy one player.”

To be more specific, Saban was accusing Fisher of luring players by promising them NIL perks. Before last year’s rule change, the NCAA didn’t allow players to capitalize on their fame through endorsements or paid public appearances. It’s still uncertain how these changes will be monitored by the NCAA, but Saban seemed convinced that the Aggies head coach was doing something unethical while amplifying rumors that boosters connected to the program had directly or indirectly promised upwards of $30m to this year’s recruits.

Related: Race, money and exploitation: why college sport is still the ‘new plantation’

During a very lengthy public response, Fisher first defended his players (and, of course, himself). “We never bought anybody,” the coach said last Thursday. “No rules are broken. Nothing was done wrong. It’s a shame that you’ve got to sit here and defend 17-year-old kids and families and Texas A&M.”

All of that was well and good. Fisher, who happened to be Saban’s offensive…


Source link : https://sports.yahoo.com/saban-narcissist-why-two-star-084031073.html?src=rss

Author : The Guardian

Publish date : 2022-05-25 08:40:31

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