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Jimbo Fisher Says Nick Saban's Comments on NIL, Texas A&M Recruiting Are 'Despicable'

Tim Daniels@@TimDanielsBRFeatured Columnist IVMay 19, 2022

Wesley Hitt/Getty Images

Texas A&M head coach Jimbo Fisher fired back at Alabama counterpart Nick Saban, who said Wednesday the Aggies "bought every player on their team" since the start of college football's name, image and likeness (NIL) era.

"It's despicable. We're taking shots at 17-year-old kids," Fisher told reporters Thursday. "We never bought anyone. When [Saban] doesn't get his way or things don't go his way—go dig in to [Saban's past]. It's despicable. It's personal to us. And I know the guy really well."

Fisher also called Saban a "narcissist."

The longtime Alabama coach has been an outspoken critic of the mostly unregulated nature of recruiting via NIL offers since the U.S. Supreme Court ruled last June the NCAA could no longer bar payments to student-athletes.

Saban explained Wednesday coaches are aware of how much NIL money is available for deals through the school's collective pool and can give prospective recruits an idea of what they can earn by choosing their program.

"That's not what it was supposed to be," he said. "That's what it's become. And that's the problem in college athletics right now. Now every player is saying, 'Well, what am I going to get?'"

Fisher confirmed Saban has since reached out to have a conversation, but the A&M coach isn't planning to call him back.

"We're done. He showed you who he is," Fisher said.

He reiterated his desire for people to take a closer look at Saban.

"Some people think they're God. Go dig into how God did his deal," Fisher said. "You may find out about a guy, a lot of things you don't want to know. We build him up to be this czar of football. Go dig into his past."

Pat McAfee @PatMcAfeeShow

JIMBO FISHER OFFFF THE TOP ROPE <a href="https://t.co/yVN6HobqkQ">pic.twitter.com/yVN6HobqkQ</a>

Fisher, who served as an offensive coordinator under Saban at LSU from 2000 through 2004, also defended his own reputation.

"You can call me anything you want to call me. You ain't call me a cheat," he told reporters. "I don't cheat and I don't lie. I learned that when I was a kid, if you did that, your old man slapped you 'side the head. Maybe somebody should have slapped [Saban]."

Fisher and the Aggies are scheduled to visit Bryant-Denny Stadium to take on Saban and the Crimson Tide on Oct. 8.

This week's exchange ensures there will be plenty of extra eyes on that SEC matchup.

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