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Nick Saban Says He Has 'No Issues' with Jimbo Fisher, Addresses Alabama NIL Income

Tyler Conway@@jtylerconwayFeatured Columnist IVJuly 19, 2022

Robin Alam/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Do not expect a war of words between Nick Saban and Jimbo Fisher to continue into the regular season.

The Alabama coach addressed his offseason spat with Fisher on Tuesday at SEC media days in Atlanta, saying he has "no issues" with his Texas A&M counterpart.

"First of all, I have no issues or problems with Jimbo," Saban told reporters. "He's done a great job at A&M, and he did a great job for us. I always take criticisms or whatever in a positive way to self-assess me personally to feel like there is maybe something I can do better.

"Any comment that anyone makes, I always take into consideration. But there are no problems."

Saban and Fisher traded barbs in May when Saban made a comment about how the Aggies "bought every player on their team." Fisher responded forcefully the following day, saying A&M has broken no NCAA rules and calling Saban's character into question. The SEC publicly reprimanded both coaches for their comments.

Fisher and Saban hashed things out before the conference's spring meetings.

"It's over with," Fisher said last month. "We're done talking about it. We're moving on to try to fix the problems of what we have in college football. There are a lot more pressing needs than our arguments."

Texas A&M signed 2022's top recruiting class thanks in large part to a robust investment from boosters in name, image and likeness deals for players. Saban has bemoaned the new NIL rules for creating an even wider gulf between top programs and the rest of the country, though he acknowledged Alabama benefits from the new rules.

"Name, image and likeness is not an issue for us at Alabama,” Saban said Tuesday. "And our players, I think, did better than anybody in the country last year. ... The biggest concern is how does this impact and affect recruiting because on the recruiting trail right now there's a lot of people using this as inducements to go to their schools by making promises they may or may not be able to keep in terms of what players are doing."

The seven-time national champion has also expressed concern over the rise of megaconferences in college football. The SEC is set to add Oklahoma and Texas in 2025, and the Big Ten will bring in UCLA and USC a year prior.

"Megaconferences will create more of a caste system, maybe, in college football, and everyone has to decide if that's the direction we really want to go or not," Saban said on ESPN's Get Up.

Saban estimated Alabama players earned more than $3 million in NIL deals over the past year. It's likely that number will continue to rise as booster groups look to keep their teams competitive.

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