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#pounditThursday, July 7, 2022

Deion Sanders responds to Nick Saban’s accusation

Deion Sanders at a press conference

Jackson State University head football coach Deion Sanders speaks to media during a press conference at JSU’s Walter Payton Recreation and Wellness Center in Jackson, Miss., Wednesday, Dec. 16, 2020. Photo Credit: Eric Shelton/Clarion Ledger via Imagn Content Services, LLC

Nick Saban expressed concern this week over the way some programs are taking advantage of the NCAA’s new Name, Image and Likeness rules, and Deion Sanders was one of the coaches he took aim at. The Hall of Famer did not appreciate it.

While speaking about the NIL rules to business leaders at a dinner in Birmingham on Wednesday, Saban said Jackson State paid a recruit $1 million to commit to them.

Saban was referring to Travis Hunter, the No. 1 recruit in the country. Sanders managed to flip Hunter from Florida State in the most shocking upset in college football recruiting history. There were rumors that Barstool Sports, one of Sanders’ employers, gave Hunter a seven-figure NIL deal to convince him to go to Jackson State. Sanders vehemently denied the claim at the time.

Sanders issued a strong response to Saban in a tweet.

Saban also took a shot at Texas A&M for paying recruits. Some will say he is being hypocritical, as Alabama quarterback Bryce Young has made a ton of money since the new NIL rules went into effect. However, that money came after he was already playing at Alabama.

Saban is right that the NIL rules are going to complicate the college football landscape. He may also be right that Jackson State lured Hunter with money, but Sanders is never going to admit that.

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