Nick Saban rips Miami basketball for buying players

Sep 4, 2021; Atlanta, Georgia, USA; Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports
Sep 4, 2021; Atlanta, Georgia, USA; Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports /

Alabama head coach Nick Saban ripped the Miami basketball program as part of a rant that included Hurricanes’ football opponent Texas A&M about players earning money from their own Name, Image and Likeness. Without mentioning him by name, Saban referred to new Miami basketball guard Nijel Pack.

Pack is set to earn $400K per season with two years of eligibility remaining after transferring from Kansas State. Pack signed a deal with major Miami benefactor John Ruiz and his company Life Wallet. Ruiz responded via Twitter to the comments by Saban claiming Alabama committed NCAA violations.

Players being able to earn money off their own NIL is less than a year old. NIL went into effect on July 1, 2021. The comments about the Miami basketball program buying players came at the end of the nearly seven-minute rant posted by AL.Com. Saban stated Texas A&M bought every player on its roster and Alabama bought none.

Ruiz has been far out in front of NIL deals reportedly signing 111 Miami athletes to deals with Life Wallet and another company of his, Cigarette Racing. Fisher responded to the Saban comments stating that Texas A&M did not “buy” any players, break any rules or do anything wrong. Fisher worked under Saban from 2000-2004.

"“These guys at Miami that are going to play basketball there for 400,000 it’s in the newspaper the guy tells you how he’s doing it…but the NCAA can’t enforce their rules because it’s not against the law and that’s an issue, that’s a problem and unless we get something that protects them from litigation I don’t know what we’re going to do about it.”"

Miami head football coach Mario Cristobal was on the Alabama staff under Saban from 2013 through 2016. Cristobal has credited Saban as getting a de facto Ph.D. in football during his four seasons on the Alabama staff. No statement has been made by Jim Larranaga regarding the comments from Saban.

Ruiz began his comments responding to Saban via Twitter by stating “That is because it is done legally. It is also because we actually get a ROI (return on investment).” When athletes sign a contract to profit off their own NIL, they have to represent the companies they are endorsing in some way.

Fisher called Saban out “It’s the second time we’ve had to do this with grown men who don’t get their way and wanna pout and throw a fit and act up. Just go ask all the people who worked for him, who know exactly what he’s about.” Alabama and Saban have won seven of the last 13 National Championships.

Alabama has had three National Championship Game losses in the last 13 years. NIL could even the playing field for the programs with the resources to secure NIL deals for their athletes. Ruiz has made that happen for Miami. The Miami football program has also added 11 transfers during the 2022 offseason.

Next. Miami booster John Ruiz confident NIL deals within NCAA rules. dark

Being in the ninth-largest metropolitan area in the country, Miami athletes should have more opportunities to profile off of NIL than most other athletic programs. Alabama conversely will likely not be able to offer the same opportunities. Texas A&M is in College Station which is about 90 miles from Houston.