Nate Oats Explains Benefits of Coaching at a 'Football School'

Oats believes the money brought in by being a football school provides him with better resources than some trditional basketball powerhouses.
Apr 6, 2024; Glendale, AZ, USA; Alabama Crimson Tide head coach Nate Oats reacts against the Connecticut Huskies in the semifinals of the men's Final Four of the 2024 NCAA Tournament at State Farm Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 6, 2024; Glendale, AZ, USA; Alabama Crimson Tide head coach Nate Oats reacts against the Connecticut Huskies in the semifinals of the men's Final Four of the 2024 NCAA Tournament at State Farm Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports / Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports

Over his five years coaching the Alabama basketball team, Nate Oats has risen to stardom in the college basketball coaching world.

Oats' results have earned him the reputation of one of the top college basketball coaches in the country, one that many think would be better suited coaching a traditional college basketball blue blood, rather than a 'football school' like Alabama.

Appearing on the Front Row podcast with former Alabama basketball coach Mark Gottfried, Oats explained how being at a football school is actually a huge benefit to him and his program.

“If you understand how college athletics works, and people are starting to see it in a big way right now with the money, the biggest moneymaker in college athletics right now is football," Oats said. "It’s not even close. In my opinion, we have the best football program in the history of college football, in the country. It brings in a lot of money. That money is used in the entire athletic department, including men’s basketball."

"So if you understand how college athletics works, it’s actually a positive to be at a ‘football school.’ Some of these schools that aren’t football schools are going to struggle financially moving forward with what’s going on."

The financial resources that come from a football program like Alabama, which has won six national championships since 2009, bring in a wealth of assets and supplies for Oats to be able to pitch to recruits that will better their experience.

“Five years ago I tried to make this point to some of these recruits," Oats said. "You’re gonna have better facilities, we’re gonna travel better, nutrition’s better, just go down the list of everything that’s better because we have better resources for you here.”

Even football games themselves are strong recruiting tools, but that comes with challenges as well. Oats said he and his staff have to be weary of recruits who only want to visit for the football game experience.

“You use football games for recruiting," Oats said. "But early on, you can’t burn up official visits on guys that just want to come to an Alabama football game that we have no chance to get. There’s plenty of that out there."

But as far as his ability to acquire resources and win at Alabama compared to other, more recognizable basketball powers, Oats believes he has everything he needs and then some in Tuscaloosa.

“We’re actually better off being at Alabama than you would be at maybe some traditional basketball powerhouse that doesn’t necessarily have the financial backing that you would here at Alabama, because football is such a big deal," Oats said.


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Blake Byler

BLAKE BYLER

Blake Byler is a staff writer for BamaCentral and primarily covers Alabama basketball and football. He has covered a wide variety of Crimson Tide sports since 2021, and began writing full-time for BamaCentral in 2023. You can find him on Twitter/X @blakebyler45.