Nick Saban Addresses NIL Impact on College Football

Nick Saban Addresses NIL Impact on College Football

Talk of the Tide: David Shaw's "Alabama Value" Comments Prove Nick Saban Ahead of the Curve on NIL

LSU coach Ed Orgeron made an interesting comment on Wednesday regarding name, image and likeness that could be deemed a subtle shot at Nick Saban.
Author:
Publish date:

28 days into the NIL era of college athletics and no one still has any clue what's going on and how to operate in these uncharted waters.

That was the vast majority of coaches and players' opinions last week in Hoover, Alabama inside the Wynfrey Hotel for SEC Football Media Days. 

As other media days happen across other conferences this week, like the PAC-12, Stanford coach David Shaw praised Alabama coach Nick Saban and enraged Crimson Tide fans at the same time regarding the latter's comments on quarterback Bryce Young and his reported "almost seven-figure and ungodly" NIL deals. 

“It wasn’t accidental,” Shaw said. “Many of us around college football kind of shrugged our shoulders and said, ‘Is this really what we want to be doing?’ I wonder about the people who are engaging in high-value deals like that. I know a lot of business people. I wonder what their return is on that investment. That’s a major investment. That’s a high-dollar value investment. What are they getting back from that?"

Shaw continued: "First of all, Nick Saban is smarter than any 10 of us in this room combined. There’s no way that was a throw-in. It’s obvious to me Nick wanted to plant that and make sure people knew that. It’s a great way to recruit people to come to you, which the guy hasn’t started a college football game and he’s already signed a whole bunch of deals to make money.

"To me, I don’t think that’s what this whole thing is supposed to be about. I don’t believe that is true market value. I think that’s Alabama value. But that’s not market value for an individual, which is what this is supposed to be about.

“I’m not saying it’s wrong. In my mind when I look at this, it is a combination of your personality, who you are, and what you’ve accomplished in order to create opportunities for yourself. That to me is kind of putting the cart before the horse. It’s all legal, it’s fine now. Nick mentioning that at the Media Day is a great way to kick-start your recruiting, especially if you’re recruiting another high-caliber quarterback, as we all know that they are.”

Did you catch maybe the most important part of that? 

"That's Alabama value."

As this is being written, surely the Crimson Tide recruiting team has graphics already being sent to prospects around the country with that quote on there. Saban and company should thank Shaw for the great one-liner. 

Shaw is correct, though. When Saban addressed his quarterback's NIL deals, of which Young has only publicized one with Cash App, he knew exactly what he was doing. 

Saban said it in front of the Texas High School Coaches Association's annual banquet, a state that Alabama has dominated in recent memory, even signing seven Lone Star State players in the last recruiting cycle alone. 

It makes even more sense when one considers that a day after his comments, news broke that Texas and Oklahoma have had conversations about joining the Southeastern Conference. Timing is everything. 

But to answer Shaw's question, how did one not see this coming? 

The Alabama's, Clemson's, Ohio State's, Georgia's and LSU's of the world are going to benefit from every possible rule change in college football the most, including playoff expansion, the transfer portal and now, NIL.

Those schools have excelled in the the CFP era and earned the right for their players to make hand over fist when the time and deals are right. But for Shaw, who makes over $4 million and is employed by one of the most prestigious universities, to complain about value is quite comical. 

The value is in the winning and production on the field. 

LSU coach Ed Orgeron made an interesting comment Wednesday afternoon, that could be deemed a subtle shot at Saban and Alabama, when he was asked how one could set up an NIL deal with one of his players at the Baton Rouge Rotary Club:

"If you want to give our players money legally, do it," Orgeron said. "We would like that done. Other schools are doing it ... and bragging about it." 

Saban's original comments proved again that he is ahead of the curve in college football and still the one who moves the needle for the sport. 

What's new?

28 days into the NIL era of college athletics and no one still has any clue what's going on and how to operate in these uncharted waters.

That was the vast majority of coaches and players' opinions last week in Hoover, Alabama inside the Wynfrey Hotel for SEC Football Media Days. 

Member Exclusive

Get Exclusive Access to Bama Central Content