Fisher-Saban feud shakes SEC

FILE - Alabama coach Nick Saban watches players warm up for the College Football Playoff...
FILE - Alabama coach Nick Saban watches players warm up for the College Football Playoff championship NCAA football game against Georgia on Jan. 10, 2022, in Indianapolis. Saban called out Texas A&M on Wednesday night, May 18 for “buying” players in its top-ranked recruiting class with name, image and likeness deals, saying Crimson Tide football players earned more than $3 million last year “the right way.” (AP Photo/Paul Sancya, File)(Paul Sancya | AP)
Published: May. 20, 2022 at 10:29 AM CDT
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - Does anybody remember the Southwest Conference? It destroyed itself when its powerhouse college football members started ratting each other out over recruiting violations.

We may be seeing a hint of that in the SEC with the growing feud now between Alabama and Texas A&M.

It all started Wednesday night when Bama’s high-powered head coach Nick Saban, speaking at a Birmingham fundraiser, had a few things to say about the way A&M gets players.

Saban accused the Aggies of buying players under the NCAA’s new Name, Image and Likeness (NIL) rules -- basically using them for recruiting inducements.

“You read about it, you know who they are,” said Saban. “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. 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.”

This is what Aggies Coach Jimbo Fisher said in response.

“It’s despicable somebody can say that about somebody, and more importantly 17-year-old kids...that we broke state laws,” said Fisher. “Bought every player. Nothing was done wrong. The way we do things, the ethics, it’s despicable. The narcissist in him doesn’t allow things to happen. It’s ridiculous, when he’s on top. The parody in college football he’s talking about. Go talk to coaches who coached for him. You can find anything you want to find, what he does and how he does it.”

Fisher used to be an Assistant Coach under Saban at Alabama.

The Aggies upset the Tide last season at College Station.

The SEC weighed in Thursday issuing a cease and desist order between the two.

Saban issued an apology Thursday afternoon.

“I really didn’t mean to single anybody out,” he said. “I apologize for that. But it’s the whole system — is this a sustainable system and is this good for college football?”

Maybe we can expect there to be Nuclear Armageddon when the Tide and Aggies meet Oct. 8 in Tuscaloosa.

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