The offseason in the SEC is never boring, but Thursday, May 19 may take the honor as one of the craziest (and most interesting) days in college football's top conference. Over the last two days, Texas A&M coach Jimbo Fisher and Alabama coach Nick Saban have now traded words and barbs regarding recruiting, program management and NIL. Needless to say, after the back-and-forth, we can go ahead and mark Oct. 8, 2022 as the most-anticipated game in the conference (and maybe college football?) this year when the Aggies and Crimson Tide meet in Tuscaloosa.
At an event in Birmingham on Wednesday night, Saban lobbied the first shot while discussing NIL and recruiting. “We were second in recruiting last year,” Saban commented. "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."
During that event, Saban was clear NIL for work wasn't a concern. However, the collectives - groups of fans or alumni that funnel money to players - were his main concern. But he also fired a warning for the rest of college football about those: "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."
Fisher fired back at Saban on Thursday, calling him a "narcissist" and his comments "despicable." He added "some people think their God. Go dig into how God did his deal. You may find out about a lot of things you don't want to know." Fisher was not scheduled to meet with the media on Thursday but stepped to the podium to respond to Saban.
"We build him up to be the czar of football. Go dig into his past."
According to Fisher, Saban has tried to reach out since last night's comments. However, Fisher isn't interested in talking right now and replied "we're done" when asked about a chat between the two coaches.
May 19 officially marks 100 days until the start of the 2022 college football season. However, the offseason and upcoming SEC meetings in Destin, Florida, in late May certainly got a lot more interesting thanks to Fisher and Saban.
Regardless of which coach you think got it right in this back-and-forth, we can all agree on one thing: Let's start the countdown until Oct. 8, 2022.
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