Alabama's Nick Saban: 'I Have No Problem' With Texas A&M HC Jimbo FisherMay 31, 2022
Alabama head football coach Nick Saban doesn't have a personal grudge against Jimbo Fisher.
Speaking to reporters at the SEC spring meetings on Tuesday in Destin, Florida, Saban said "I have no problem" with the Texas A&M head coach "at all."
The comment comes nearly two weeks after Saban told the audience at a business event that the Aggies "bought every player on their team" in recruiting the past two years, per ESPN's Alex Scarborough:
"I mean, 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, likeness. We didn't buy one player, all right? But I don't know if we're gonna be able to sustain that in the future because more and more people are doing it. It's tough."
Saban tied his comment about the Aggies into his thoughts about how name, image and likeness rules are impacting college football.
Texas A&M has drawn a lot of attention from opposing SEC coaches recently. Mississippi's Lane Kiffin told 247Sports' Carl Reed in February that college football was "gonna implement a luxury tax" on Texas A&M and Texas because "what they’re paying the players is unbelievable."
Fisher has gotten defensive amid accusations that his program is buying all of its players.
Coming out of national signing day in February, Fisher called out an anonymous message board post that said the Aggies had $30 million in NIL funds.
Fisher also had strong words for his fellow coaches, including Kiffin, and others who were spreading rumors about Texas A&M spending to recruit players.
"To have coaches in our league and across this league to say it, clown acts," Fisher told reporters. "Irresponsible as hell. Multiple coaches in our league. And the guys griping about NIL and transfer portal are using it the most and bragging about it the most. That's the ironic part. ... It's a joke. It does piss me off."
On Tuesday, Saban noted he "didn't say anybody did anything wrong" regarding Texas A&M's recruiting practices.
Texas A&M has the nation's top-ranked class for 2022, per 247Sports' composite rankings. The class includes 27 players who are 4- or 5-star prospects, including two top-10 overall players in defensive linemen Walter Nolen and Shemar Stewart.
Saban could also be playing mind games in an attempt to get under Fisher's skin. They know each other well from their last four years coaching against each other in the SEC. Fisher was also on Saban's coaching staff at LSU from 2000 to '04.
The Aggies and Crimson Tide will play at Bryant-Denny Stadium on Oct. 8. Texas A&M beat Alabama, 41-38, last season for the first time since 2012.