Texas A&M head coach Jimbo Fisher says that a video of an Aggies staffer allegedly talking with recruits about making money has been taken out of context.
While pointing toward the luxury suites at Kyle Field earlier this month, the staffer appeared to tell recruits that they would be "getting a lot of money from the people behind these suites if y'all decide to come play here."
Fisher clarified those comments at SEC Media Days in Atlanta on Thursday, via Creg Stephenson of AL.com:
“No, that's not what he said. Those guys pay down there very well, and what he meant was—he was a young guy, been there about a month—the guys behind those seats is what paid for your program. That was the donations and boosters and how he said it and how he spoke. Do we all have NIL? Yes, we do. But that's what he was meaning.
“It's a … thing that we say with all recruits. The guys behind those things are the guys who pay for our program, what we do, the donations. That's what it was. He had been here one month.”
The video caused a stir because the recruiter suggested that boosters would be giving players money to compete for the Aggies. In May, the NCAA banned boosters from being directly involved in recruiting.
The video came after Alabama head coach Nick Saban took a shot at Fisher and the Aggies in May, saying they were able to land the nation's No. 1 recruiting class with NIL money.
"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. 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."
Texas A&M landed eight 5-star recruits in its 2022 class, including Walter Nolen, Shemar Stewart, Evan Stewart, Lebbeus Overton, Gabriel Brownlow-Dindy, Connor Weigman, Denver Harris and Chris Marshall, per 247Sports.
Fisher quickly responded, saying Saban's comments were false and accusing him of having skeletons in his closet for not following NCAA rules in the past.
Fisher added on Thursday that his feud with Saban has been put behind them, per Michael Casagrande of AL.com:
"Listen, we're great. Two competitive guys that go at it. We all learn from things we do in our business. Two competitive guys on a topic that is very—everywhere, as they say. There's no rules in this thing, where it goes. Each state has different laws and everything.
"And like he said, I heard a statement he made, the arguments we had in the staff room and on the basketball court and all those things. But on the basketball court, we didn't have them. We were always on the same team. So we usually had them against other people. I have great respect for Nick. Unfortunately, our thing went public. Sometimes that happens in this world. Nothing is private anymore, is it?"
Texas A&M and Alabama are slated to meet in College Station on October 8. While the two appear to have moved on from their spat this summer, it will undoubtedly be one of the best games to watch during the 2022 college football season.