SEC commissioner Greg Sankey spoke with Yahoo Finance's Josh Schafer on Wednesday about Name, Image, and Likeness, among other topics. These comments from the SEC commissioner came a day before the viral conflict between Alabama head coach Nick Saban and Texas A&M's Jimbo Fisher.
“There are some concerning trends,”
“We're not seeing name image and likeness activity — we're seeing just straight payments. And I think it's important that we recenter ourselves on what's supposed to be happening here and the desire to keep that activity out of recruitment to benefit young people economically but to do so in a healthy way.”
Later Wednesday night, the comments of Nick Saban went viral as he accused SEC West foe Texas A&M of "buying" their players. Yet, the Aggies weren't the only example that the coaching legend pointed out. He also accused Jackson State of paying Travis Hunter, the former number one overall player in the 2022 class, $1 million to choose Jackson State over schools like Alabama and Georgia.
These accusations prompted reactions from both Jimbo Fisher and Jackson State head coach Deion Sanders, who said those reports were a "lie." Fisher went as far as to call Saban a "narcissist" as part of a passionate impromptu press conference.
Saban's comments were not the first time that schools were being accused of "straight payments" to players, as Sankey would say. Yet it was the first time that a fellow head coach proceeded to call out another program directly.
Sankey and Saban agree that payments made to players in the guise of NIL deals go against pre-existing NCAA bylaws, now the question turns to whether anything will be done to stop this worrying trend.
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