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Texas A&M AD Believes SEC Should Discipline Nick Saban Following Recent Remarks

According to a report from Sports Illustrated, Aggies athletics director Ross Bjork has spoken with SEC commissioner Greg Sankey about Nick Saban's recent remarks on Texas A&M.

Texas A&M athletics director Ross Bjork believes Nick Saban should be disciplined for his recent remarks about the Aggies’ dealings with name, image and likeness. According to a report from Sports Illustrated, Bjork has been in communication with SEC commissioner Greg Sankey about Saban’s comments violating SEC sportsmanship bylaws.

According to SEC Bylaw 10.5.2, "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.”

“There are sportsmanship bylaws in the SEC. We believe Coach Saban violated those bylaws,” Bjork told Sports Illustrated. “Everyone knows NIL is here to stay. We’ve embraced it. We have all the tools and technology. We are educating our athletes and boosters. There is all kinds of awareness here. The part that is frustrating is to say NIL is the only reason kids are choosing our program. That is hypocritical, and I don’t know why we are the target.

“A&M has a huge former student base. The Aggie network is strong. We’ve rebuilt Kyle Field and joined the SEC. I guess people don’t like A&M disrupting the power base of college football.”

Saban made headlines during an event in Birmingham on Wednesday night, stating that Texas A&M’s No. 1 recruiting class was influenced by NIL dealings with players. Texas A&M led the nation signing 13 SI99 recruits in this year's class. Alabama finished second with 12 SI99 signees, followed by Georgia (11), Ohio State (8) and Texas (7).

“I know the consequence is going to be difficult for the people who are spending tons of money to get players,” Saban said Wednesday. “You read about it, you know who they are. 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. Aight? 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. It’s tough.”

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Thursday, Fisher held a press conference to deliver a scathing response to Saban’s comments, referring to them as “despicable.” The Texas A&M head coach stated that the Aggies have not done anything illegal in recruiting while insinuating Saban has broken rules throughout his career.

“Some people think they’re God,” Fisher said. “Go dig into how God did his deal. You may find out about a guy that a lot of things you don’t want to know. We’ve built him up to be the czar of football? Go dig into his past or anybody that’s ever coached with him. You can find out anything you want to find out, what he does and how he does it and it’s despicable."

Fisher served as Saban’s offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach at LSU from 2000 to 2004. During his Thursday press conference, Fisher said Saban has tried to reach him since Wednesday's comments but that he isn’t taking any calls from the Alabama coach. When asked about their relationship, Fisher responded, “We’re done.”

Bjork followed up his head coach’s remarks, stating that the comments from Saban were an attack on both Fisher and Texas A&M.

“I don’t know why Nick Saban would say what he said except he’s threatened,” Bjork told Sports Illustrated. “There is a saying … an emperor who loses their dynasty lashes out. He seems to be making excuses.

“This is personal. Coach Fisher views this as a personal attack on his integrity and on Texas A&M’s integrity,” Bjork continued. “To have personal attacks, to say that the only reason A&M is [recruiting well] is NIL money is wrong.”

Both Bjork and Fisher maintain that Texas A&M has not broken any rules regarding NIL. He also told Sports Illustrated that Saban’s comments have only further galvanized the Aggies’ fan and donor bases.

“We aren’t done and going anywhere,” Bjork said. “Everyone here at A&M has Coach Fisher’s back. I’ve been with our Board of Regents the last day. The regents, chancellor and president all have Jimbo’s back. We are going to stand up for our program.”