Nick Saban would like to see some more parity in college football.
Yes, that Nick Saban, the one who has led Alabama to six national championships since 2009. That Nick Saban, who finds his team penciled into the SEC Championship Game almost on a yearly basis. Yeah, that’s the guy who thinks college football has a parity problem.
Saban originally made the comments to ESPN’s Paul Finebaum at the Regions Pro-Am in Wednesday morning in Birmingham.
“I think one of the things I’d like for us to be able to work back to is, you know, everything in college football has always had parity,” Saban said during the special edition of the Paul Finebaum Show. “Same scholarship, same academic support, whatever it is.
“I don’t think we have that balance right now which can impact the parity of college football land college athletics as a whole. I know we have a lot of good people working on it and I’m sure they will come up with a good solution for us.”
Beyond Alabama’s triumphs since he made his way to Tuscaloosa in 2007, are the accomplishments of the SEC as a whole. SEC teams have dominated the college football landscape, winning 12 national titles since 2006.
Saban also took issue with the growing influence of name, image and likeness (NIL), which has been a hot topic of conversation — even in Congress — this offseason. Saban emphasized that he’s not anti-NIL, but said it’s wrong when NIL begins to dictate primarily where a recruit goes to school.
“I think a lot of people criticize the NCAA, but because of a lot of the laws passed, the NCAA really has a difficult time — if they don’t get protection from litigation — to even enforce some of the rules they have,” Saban said. “I think that is where the transfer portal came from. People had to sit out, but everybody applied for a waiver. And if they did not get a waiver, they sued. Eventually you just say enough is enough and you pass a rule that everybody can transfer whenever they can.
“I think NIL is good for players. I don’t think — players should go earn what they get, which is what our players did last year and did quite well — but when you start having collectives and such that raise money to pay players and then talking about influencing players to go to a school in terms of what they are going to get [in NIL], I’m not sure that’s what is good for the game.”
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