By RALPH D. RUSSO, AP Faculty Soccer Author
DESTIN, Fla. (AP) — Alabama coach Nick Saban tried to place an finish to his feud with Texas A&M’s Jimbo Fisher on Tuesday as Southeastern Convention leaders gathered for spring conferences at a resort on the Florida Gulf Coast.
“I didn’t actually say that anyone did something flawed,” Saban mentioned when requested if he had proof that Texas A&M has been shopping for gamers with identify, picture and likeness compensation offers. “OK, and I’ve mentioned every part I’m going to say about this. I ought to have by no means talked about any particular person establishments as I’ve mentioned that earlier than.”
Saban added: “I’ve no drawback with Jimbo. I’ve no drawback with Jimbo in any respect.”
Saban set off Fisher two weeks in the past when he referred to as out Texas A&M and different colleges whereas speaking in regards to the want for NIL regulation in faculty sports activities.
Fisher responded angrily, saying Saban’s feedback had been despicable and calling his former boss at LSU a “narcissist” whereas denying any wrongdoing together with his program that landed the No. 1 recruiting class within the nation for 2022.
The SEC spring conferences — going down in particular person for the primary time since 2019 due to the pandemic —- had been the primary alternative for the 2 celebrity coaches to fulfill face-to-face because the dustup. Fisher was not scheduled to fulfill with reporters Tuesday.
Georgia coach Kirby Good downplayed the forwards and backwards between Fisher and Saban. Good labored below Saban for years, together with a season at LSU when Fisher was Saban’s offensive coordinator.
“You guys needs to be on the headphones generally,” Good mentioned, referencing the interplay between coaches on recreation days. “It simply occurred in entrance of everyone.”
Earlier than heading into what was scheduled to be a five-hour assembly with all 14 SEC coaches, Saban met with reporters for about 10 minutes.The primary query Saban he was requested was about Texas A&M and he shortly pivoted into attempting to make a broader level about NIL.
“Some type of uniform identify, picture and likeness commonplace that helps some type of equitable, nationwide competitors I believe is admittedly, actually necessary in faculty athletics and faculty soccer,” Saban mentioned.
Saban mentioned transparency was wanted to make sure athletes are signing professional offers that pay them for his or her providers and that boosters wanted to be saved out of recruiting.
The NCAA lifted most of its guidelines barring athletes from incomes cash from sponsorship and endorsement offers final July, however there are considerations amongst many in faculty sports activities that NIL offers are getting used as recruiting inducements and de facto pay-for-play. The NCAA issued steering to Division I members in early Might to clarify booster-funded collectives being concerned in recruiting is a guidelines violation.
“Consider me, I am all for gamers making as a lot as they will make,” Saban mentioned. “However I additionally assume we have to have some uniform, clear method to try this.”
Florida coach Billy Napier, one other former Saban assistant and newcomer to the SEC in his first 12 months in Gainesville, ducked commenting about Saban and Fisher, however agreed the present scenario with NIL compensation is tough to handle.
“We’re dwelling in a land of no legal guidelines,” Napier mentioned, however added he has no qualms with soccer gamers taking residence a few of the tens of millions in income they generate.
“It’s silly to say the gamers don’t deserve a chunk of the pie,” Napier mentioned. “If there’s no gamers within the stadium there’s no one sitting within the stands, and no one sitting at residence watching on TV.”
Saban reiterated Alabama gamers made loads of cash with NIL offers final 12 months, hiring brokers to information them via the method.
He simply needs these offers to be struck after a participant enrolls at a college.
“This isn’t about Alabama,” Saban mentioned. “This isn’t about what’s greatest for us. I simply hope we will kind of put some guardrails on all of this.”
Observe Ralph D. Russo at https://twitter.com/ralphDrussoAP and hear at http://www.appodcasts.com
Extra AP faculty soccer: https://apnews.com/hub/college-football and https://twitter.com/AP_Top25
Copyright 2022 The Related Press. All rights reserved. This materials might not be revealed, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.