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#pounditThursday, July 7, 2022

Deion Sanders explains why he won’t take Nick Saban’s phone call

Deion Sanders in a hat

Jackson State University coach Deion Sanders heads into the locker room after pregame warmups with the Tigers before JSU s nonconference battle against longtime rival Southern University at Veterans Memorial Stadium in Jackson, Miss., Saturday, April 3, 2021. Barbara Gauntt/Clarion Ledger via Imagn Content Services, LLC

Deion Sanders gave a response to Nick Saban over social media on Wednesday night. On Thursday, he provided a more detailed response in comments to a reporter.

Sanders told ESPN’s Jean-Jacques Taylor that Saban should have stayed in his lane and made the wrong decision to talk about paying players to attend schools. He implied that paying players to attend schools has been going on a long time and that he knows all about it.

Sanders, who starred at Florida State in college before his Hall of Fame career in the NFL, suggested Saban wasn’t even talking to him or Jimbo Fisher in Wednesday’s comments. Rather, he believes Saban was talking to Alabama’s boosters to let them know what they need to do to match schools like Texas A&M.

The Jackson State head coach also said he still has lots of respect for Saban. But he explained why he won’t be taking Saban’s phone call.

“I haven’t talked to Coach Saban. I’m sure he’s tried to call. We need to talk publicly — not privately. What you said was public. That doesn’t require a conversation. Let’s talk publicly and let everybody hear the conversation,” Sanders told Andscape on Thursday.

“You can’t do that publicly and call privately. No, no, no. I still love him. I admire him. I respect him. He’s the magna cum laude of college football and that’s what it’s going to be because he’s earned that.”

Saban complained in a talk with Alabama business leaders on Wednesday night that schools are misusing the new NIL rules. He singled out Texas A&M, Jackson State and Miami (for basketball) as schools that are using NIL deals as vehicles to entice players to play at their schools. The Alabama coach later apologized for singling out the schools. However, he stood by his complaint.

Sanders isn’t alone in not wanting to take Saban’s phone call. Fisher is refusing to talk with Saban and says the two of them are done.

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