Why Nick Saban’s $1M NIL accusation ‘stung’ Deion Sanders and was an insult to HBCUs

When Alabama football coach Nick Saban accused Texas A&M of buying the No. 1-ranked recruiting class in the nation and Jackson State of paying a player “a million dollars,” he was really using Deion Sanders and Jimbo Fisher as “pawns” in order to ask Alabama boosters for more money, Sanders said last week. 

“They just threw me in the fire because of what we accomplished in recruiting last year with Kevin Coleman and Travis (Hunter) and some others,” Sanders, the JSU coach, said on the I Am Athlete Podcast with Brandon Marshall. “They just threw us in the fire because he was the spokesman for all the SEC and he was the spokesman for all the Power Fives and the PWIs (predominantly white institutions) by saying, ‘Hey y’all, we can’t let that happen again.’ “

Sanders doesn’t blame Saban for the comments that led to the Crimson Tide coach and Fisher getting public reprimands from SEC commissioner Greg Sankey. He said he still respects who Saban is as a coach. 

But hearing Saban’s comments hurt, Sanders said.

Andscape, the ESPN website formerly known as The Undefeated, reported Thursday that Hunter, the nation’s top-rated high school recruit in 2022, has two NIL deals in place and two more in the works for less than $250,000.

Author: Lucy Green