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Texas A&M officials reportedly wanted Alabama’s Nick Saban reprimanded over the name, image and likeness remarks he made about Jimbo Fisher and the Aggies’ football team.
Texas A&M University President M. Katherine Banks and athletics director Ross Bjork wrote a joint email to SEC Commissioner Greg Sankey imploring him to fine or suspend Saban, On3.com reported Monday.
“We write to express Texas A&M University’s disappointment and outrage at the recent statements made by Alabama University (sic) Head Football Coach Nick Saban that ‘A&M bought every player on their team-made a deal for Name, Image, Likeness,’” the email reportedly read.
“Coach Saban’s statement was a blatant violation of SEC bylaws regarding sportsmanship. More significantly, without citing any facts to support his statement, Coach Saban is accusing every, single player in Texas A&M’s recruiting class and current football team of violating NCAA NIL guidelines and Texas state law.”
The Texas A&M brass added that Saban’s remarks were “corrosive” to sportsmanship in the SEC and college football in general.
“Coach Saban’s statement is false, beneath the dignity of the SEC, and corrosive to the fabric of sportsmanship in college football as a whole and especially within the SEC,” the email reportedly read.
“We expect the league to take strong, public action against Coach Saban and the University of Alabama to demonstrate that such unprofessionalism and disrespect for Texas A&M’s student-athletes, coaches, and the university as a whole, will not be tolerated. A public apology from Coach Saban to Coach Fisher, Aggie Football, and Texas A&M University is a good starting point, but the league should also consider monetary and participation penalties against Coach Saban.”
Last month, Saban accused Fisher of buying players to get the top recruiting class for 2022. He said under the pretext of name, image and likeness (NIL), “A&M bought every player on their team.”
Fisher responded by calling Saban a “narcissist” and said people should dig into his past. After the comments were made, the Aggies coach called for a press conference. He said Saban tried to reach out to him.
“Some people think they’re God. Go dig into how God did his deal. You may find out about a guy, a lot of things you don’t want to know,” Fisher said. “We build him up to be this czar of football. Go dig into his past or anybody who’s ever coached with him. You can find out anything you want to find out what he does and how he does it.”
Fisher denied the Aggies broke any rules attracting the No. 1 recruiting class in 2022.
“I don’t cheat. I don’t lie. If you did my old man slapped me across the face. Maybe someone should have slapped him (Saban),” Fisher said.
Saban made the claims at a conference in Birmingham.
“I know the consequence is going to be difficult for the people who are spending tons of money to get players,” Saban said, via AL.com. “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.
“We didn’t buy one player. All right? 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.”
The SEC later reprimanded both coaches for their war of words.