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Nick Saban Claims Rival Program "Bought Every Player"

Alabama head coach Nick Saban looks on during the SEC Championship.

ATLANTA, GEORGIA - DECEMBER 04: Head Coach Nick Saban of the Alabama Crimson Tide looks on before the SEC Championship game against the Georgia Bulldogs at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on December 04, 2021 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

Nick Saban will welcome another strong recruiting class to Tuscaloosa this fall. Per 247Sports, Alabama has this year's second-best incoming freshman class behind Texas A&M.

Speaking at a countdown event for the World Games in Birmingham, per AL.com's Mike Rodak the Crimson Tide head coach says the Aggies achieved that feat because they "bought every player."

On the other hand, Saban claimed Alabama's players made over $3 million in NIL revenue "the right way." Yet he's not sure how much longer he can operate that way under the current system. 

"We were second in recruiting last year. A&M was first," Saban said. "A&M bought every player on their team. Made a deal for name, image and likeness. We didn’t buy one player. But 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."

That's a troubling message for the NCAA, as bidding wars could break out if more teams feel pressure to pay players to keep up with other programs using NIL deals in unintended ways.

The Division I Board of Directors recently approved new guidelines clarifying that boosters remain prohibited from engaging in the recruitment process. Yet imposing these restrictions could lead to legal battles.

In February, Texas A&M head coach Jimbo Fisher called rumors of the school using deep-pocketed booster funds "garbage."

"To me it’s insulting to the players that we recruited that that’s why they would come here,” Fisher told reporters, per Ralph D. Russo of the Associated Press. "You ever been to a game here? You ever come to school here and see the education? You ever talk about the 12th Man and the Aggie network when you’re done? There ain’t a better university in this country."

Saban's comments could bring intensity to Alabama and Texas A&M's SEC showdown on October 8.