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‘That was a mistake and I apologize’: Coach Saban apologizes for comments made on NIL

Saban and Texas A&M head coach Jimbo Fisher publicly reprimanded by the SEC
Jimbo Fisher fires back at Nick Saban
Published: May. 19, 2022 at 3:51 PM CDT|Updated: May. 19, 2022 at 6:52 PM CDT
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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - Alabama head coach Nick Saban has apologized for comments made regarding name, image and likeness on May 18.

During a fireside chat to celebrate 50 days until the World Games, Saban accused Texas A&M of buying players on the team.

“We were second in recruiting last year, 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,” said Saban.

During a press conference on May 19, Fisher responded to accusations made by Saban, calling his comments insulting to Texas A&M and their families.

“We build him up to be this czar of football. Go dig into his past or anybody who’s ever coached with him. You can find out anything you want to find out what he does and how he does it,” said Fisher.

During a radio interview on ESPNU on May 19, Saban apologized following his Wednesday night comments.

“I should have never really singled anybody out. That was a mistake and I apologize,” said Saban.

Saban said he has reached out to Fisher and Jackson State head coach Deion Sanders, but has not gotten a response.

SEC Commissioner Greg Sankey has issued a public reprimand to both Saban and Fisher for their comments, saying they violated SEC bylaws regarding ethical conduct.

Commissioner Sankey has released this statement regarding their reprimands:

Here is the full release from Sankey:

SEC Commissioner Greg Sankey issued the following statement related to comments made by Alabama head football coach Nick Saban and Texas A&M head football coach Jimbo Fisher.

“The membership of the Southeastern Conference has established expectations for conduct and sportsmanship that were not met last night nor today,” said Sankey. “A hallmark of the SEC is intense competition within an environment of collaboration. Public criticism of any kind does not resolve issues and creates a distraction from seeking solutions for the issues facing college athletics today. There is tremendous frustration concerning the absence of consistent rules from state to state related to name, image and likeness. We need to work together to find solutions and that will be our focus at the upcoming SEC Spring Meetings.”

As a result of public comments made on May 18 by Alabama head coach Nick Saban, a public reprimand is issued for comments he made in violation of SEC Bylaws 10.2.3 and 10.5.2 related to Ethical Conduct for derogatory comments and public criticism of another institution’s athletics program.

As a result of public comments made on May 19 by Texas A&M head coach Jimbo Fisher, a public reprimand is issued for comments he made in violation of SEC Bylaw 10.5.2 related to Ethical Conduct for public criticism of another member institution’s staff.

SEC Bylaw 10.2.3 states “Coaches and other member personnel shall advocate the positive advantages and attributes of their university and its intercollegiate athletics program and shall avoid making any derogatory statements concerning another member institution’s athletics program, facilities or educational opportunities.”

SEC Bylaw 10.5.2 states “Coaches and administrators shall refrain from public criticism of other member institutions, their staffs or players. Coaches and administrators shall also refrain from making public statements and accusations with regard to infractions concerning member institutions and their personnel. In response to questions by the media, it is appropriate to state that infractions are reported, investigated and addressed in accordance with established Conference and NCAA procedures.”

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