The stunned college football world watched a war of words break out between Nick Saban and Jimbo Fisher earlier this week.
On Wednesday, Saban alleged that Texas A&M "bought every player" from its top-rated recruiting class through unsavory NIL deals. This prompted a heated rebuttal from Fisher the following day before the SEC publicly reprimanded both head coaches.
So what led Saban to publicly call out a former staffer and current competitor?
The Athletic examined Saban and Fisher's relationship at LSU. According to the report, the head coach and offensive coordinator "were always at each other’s throats" and "consistently butted heads."
Multiple sources said Saban "was making excuses for being beat in recruiting." One anonymous former LSU colleague said Saban "crossed the line" and lashed out because he didn't think anyone would dare to challenge him.
"Saban doesn’t expect any of his underlings to ever say anything back. (Jimbo) is the first one to punch back," the unnamed source said. "A lot of these coaches are so careful that he controls their career. (Saban and Fisher’s agent Jimmy) Sexton handles all these coaches; he can sell any guy he wants when jobs open. It’s such an intertwined mess."
While fans (and Lane Kiffin) were entertained by the drama, not everyone was amused by the scene. An unnamed source said the coaches "were acting like two 12-year-olds."
Saban apologized on SiriusXM radio Thursday, but Fisher has not made any any public comments since his conference. Perhaps they're done bickering -- in public at least -- before the Crimson Tide and Aggies meet on October 8.