Alabama's Nick Saban Says Texas A&M 'Bought Every Player on Their Team'

Erin WalshMay 19, 2022

INDIANAPOLIS, IN - JANUARY 10: Alabama Crimson Tide head coach Nick Saban looks on during the Alabama Crimson Tide versus the Georgia Bulldogs in the College Football Playoff National Championship, on January 10, 2022, at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, IN. (Photo by Robin Alam/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
Robin Alam/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

It appears Alabama Crimson Tide head coach Nick Saban might not be a fan of the NCAA's new name, image and likeness policy, which has affected the way college football programs recruit players. 

While speaking with reporters Wednesday, Saban claimed the reason Texas A&M finished first in recruiting last year was because the school "bought every player on their team" thanks to NIL. 

Saban said Wednesday, according to AL.com's Mike Rodak:

"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.
“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.”
Brett Greenberg @74Talk

Saban on Name, Image and Likeness (NIL) <br><br>“The team made $3 million off of NIL last season between 25 different players.”<br><br>“The more supporters we have for UA in all sports, the better for our program. The thing I fear is we’ll have to eventually just start paying the players.” <a href="https://t.co/Dsavek99Ix">pic.twitter.com/Dsavek99Ix</a>

Saban's comments come after he said during an interview on The Paul Finebaum Show last week that there needed to be more "parity" in college football as things have changed with the addition of NIL and the transfer portal. 

"Same scholarship (count), same academic support, whatever it is," Saban said, as transcribed by USA Today's Taylor Jones. "I don’t think we have that balance right now, which can impact the parity of college football and college athletics as a whole. I know we have a lot of good people working on it and I’m sure they will come up with a good solution for us."

Finebaum later addressed Saban's comments after one of his callers mentioned that the Alabama head coach possibly mentioned "parity" in college football with the Aggies on his mind.

Finebaum said he didn't believe the caller's take was unrealistic because Texas A&M has the money and resources to eventually become a powerhouse. 

He said, via 247Sports:

"Since the day A&M arrived, there's been a whispering fear about what would happen if they ever got it right because — this is just my opinion, but there's only one school in the country I think that can compete with A&M from a financial standpoint and that's Texas. Those two are standalone when it comes to ability and resources, and this is a money game right now that we're talking about here. I think, when you hear the Sabans of the world complaining, that's why he's saying what he's saying."

Texas A&M beat Alabama 41-38 last year, but the Crimson Tide have dominated the matchup over the years, owning an 11-3 record against the Aggies dating back to 1942. While Saban doesn't have much to worry about now as his team has won the national title three times since 2016, Texas A&M could one day be a problem.

The Aggies landed four five-star recruits in the 2022 class and finished with the No. 1 signing class for the 2022 cycle, per 247Sports. That said, Texas A&M has yet to land a 2023 five-star recruit, though there's still a number of high-rated prospects who have yet to announce their commitment. 

At the time rumors were circulating that Texas A&M had the top-ranked recruiting class for 2022 because of NIL, head coach Jimbo Fisher said the insinuation was "insulting" and that "the things that people say are very irresponsible."

Cover 3 Podcast @Cover3Podcast

Jimbo Fisher did not hold back reacting to Nick Saban’s comments today 👀<br><br>(<a href="https://twitter.com/CBSSportsHQ?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@CBSSportsHQ</a>)<br><br> <a href="https://t.co/eF00t8HeRl">pic.twitter.com/eF00t8HeRl</a>

Alabama and Texas A&M are set to meet again during the 2022 season in October, and things should be quite heated between the two sides coming off of Saban's comments.