Nick Saban Explains Why ‘What We Have Now is Not College Football’

Photo from Nick’s Kids Foundation’s Facebook

Nick Saban Explains Why ‘What We Have Now is Not College Football’

By Movieguide® Contributor

College football has become a business for many players, coaches and schools. Recently retired, multi-time National Championship-winning coach Nick Saban is sharing his thoughts on the NIL (name, image and likeness) deals players receive.

Saban told ESPN, “What we have now is not college football—not college football as we know it. You hear somebody use the word ‘student-athlete.’ That doesn’t exist.”

USA Today explained, “The passage of a one-time transfer exemption and more lax rules governing athletes’ ability to profit from their name, image and likeness have fundamentally changed the sport and the way that rosters are assembled over the past several years.” The outlet added:

While those measures have given college athletes a level of agency they were long denied, they have become a source of consternation for coaches and administrators as player movement between programs has increased dramatically and the recruiting process has been fundamentally altered. Those trends have been compounded by a lack of rules regulating the NIL space, particularly when it comes to collectives and agents.

Now that he’s retired, Saban’s goal is to become a voice for players and coaches, bringing college sports back to what they used to be.

“I do know I’d like to impact college football the best way I can, whether it’s being a spokesperson or anything else,” Saban said, per Fox News. “Listen, I’m for the players. It’s not that I’m not for the players. I want to see the players have a great quality of life and be able to create value for themselves. But we’ve gone to nobody talking about education, nobody talking about creating value for their future, to talking only about how much money can I make while I’m in college.”

“I think the consequence of this could come down the road when some of these guys get 28 and 29 years old that maybe they didn’t prepare themselves for when they can’t play football anymore, which is what you should do when you go to college,” he continued.

Due to NIL in NCAA sports, Saban explained that players will go “where they can make the most money.”

“I don’t think it’s going to be a level playing field because some people were showing a willingness to spend more than others,” Saban explained when he previously coached at Alabama. “Whereas, if you want to bring the NFL into it, they have a salary cap. They have all the things that level the playing field. We can put guidelines on this stuff that would do the same thing.”

Movieguide® reported on Saban’s retirement:

After 17 years of coaching at the University of Alabama, Saban decided to hang up his whistle for the final time.

Saban’s wife, Terry Saban, known as “Miss Terry” to the Alabama community, confirmed the news in a Facebook post. She wrote, “It has been an incredible run these last 17 years at the University of Alabama and we take with us many amazing memories. We hope that the Saban legacy will be about helping others and making a positive difference in people’s lives as well as the winning tradition on the field.”

“…The rules for the game of football may change, but the ‘process’ will never go out of style: hard work, discipline, the relentless pursuit of a worthy goal, not cutting corners, and doing things the right way for the sake of constant personal improvement, not for the scoreboard,” Miss Terry continued. “Alabama will always feel like ‘Sweet Home’ to our family, and we’ll be cheering ‘Roll Tide’!”

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