Nick Saban contacts Jackson State and Texas A&M, but not Miami basketball

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 /

After comments criticizing the Jackson State and Texas A&M football teams and Miami basketball team for using Name, Image and Likeness to sign players, Alabama head coach Nick Saban reached out to Deion Sanders and Jimbo Fisher, but not Jim Larranaga. Saban stated it was not an apology.

Saban called out recently added Miami, basketball guard, Nijel Pack, benefactor John Ruiz and their $400,000 per year deal to represent his company Life Wallet. Ruiz has continually stated the deals he and his companies have agreed to with about 111 Miami athletes have been legal and within NCAA regulations.

Following the comments by Saban on Wednesday night, Ruiz indicated Alabama committed their own NCAA violations regarding NIL. Pack is one of the top transfers entering the 2022-23 season. Miami also signed Sun Belt Player of the Year Norchad Omier from Arkansas State, plus 11 transfers for the Football team.

Larranaga has always utilized transfers to enhance the Miami basketball roster. Ruiz has led the Miami athletic department in securing NIL deals to help athletes. Sanders reached out to Ruiz in a tweet on Thursday. Neither Fisher nor Sanders returned phone calls Saban made after the comments on Wednesday night.

"“I should have been more specific when I said ‘bought’ in saying you can buy players now through name, image and likeness and never mentioned any specific school and just said ‘across the sport…That’s on me. But other than that, I don’t have any regrets over what I said Wednesday.A lot of people are silent on this, and some of it has been people lumping NIL in with using NIL to pay players to go to school,” Saban said. “But, you know, at this stage of my career, I’m not worried about what people think of me.”"

Saban was quoted by ESPN explaining his comments from Wednesday. Alabama will adapt to NIL if they start losing players per Saban. Saban said he is concerned that NIL and the transfer portal will negatively impact college football. Athletes have more autonomy than they have ever had.

Saban moved around frequently early in his career as a head coach. Further criticism from Saban that has been echoed by other coaches nationally including Dabo Swinney of Clemson is that college football is not professional sports and that NIL and the transfer portal should not be free agency and there is no a salary cap.

Next. Nick Saban rips Miami basketball for buying players. dark

Fisher and Sanders have both responded to the comments from Saban stating that their programs did nothing wrong. Ruiz is the only person associated with the Miami NILs to respond to the comments from Saban. Miami football head coach Mario Cristobal worked as an assistant for Saban from 2013 to 2016.