Texas A&M HC Jimbo Fisher Says NIL Deals Happened in Past: 'They Just Weren't Legal'

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured Columnist IVDecember 15, 2021

Texas A&M coach Jimbo Fisher reacts to an official's call during the second half of the team's NCAA college football game against Mississippi, Saturday, Nov. 13, 2021, in Oxford, Miss. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)
AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis

To hear Texas A&M head coach Jimbo Fisher tell it, paying players in college football has been around well before they were allowed to make money off their name, image and likeness.

"There were a lot of NIL deals going on before all this was going on, they just weren't legal," Fisher said on The Paul Finebaum Show (h/t Dan Wetzel of Yahoo Sports). "Nobody told nobody."

Fisher's comments came on Wednesday's early national signing day and in the light of plenty of discussion about how the NIL possibilities and the transfer portal has impacted recruiting and college football as a whole.

Ole Miss head coach Lane Kiffin told reporters of the transfer portal, "We have free agency in college football. The kids, a lot of times, go to where they get paid the most."

Ohio State head coach Ryan Day also addressed NIL during a press conference, saying, "To say that I'm not, at the very least, concerned about what's going on around the country right now, that would not be accurate."

Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney also discussed the transfer portal and the number of players who are looking to switch schools telling reporters, "It's chaos right now. Tampering galore. Adults manipulating young men. Education is like the last thing now."

Swinney also said he would like a return to the system that required players to sit out for one year if they decide to transfer.

Fisher has navigated the new world of college football rather successfully when it comes to the recruiting trail.

As of Wednesday, he has the No. 2 overall class for the 2022 cycle, per 247Sports' composite rankings. That is the type of recruiting that is necessary to compete with some of the powerhouses in the SEC such as Alabama and Georgia.

The Aggies went 8-4 this season and will face Wake Forest in the Gator Bowl.