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#pounditSunday, June 23, 2024

Report hints at possible reason behind Nick Saban-Jimbo Fisher spat

Nick Saban in red

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Nick Saban’s seemingly unprovoked shot at Texas A&M and Jimbo Fisher has been the story of the sports world for the bulk of the week, but there may be much more at play that led to the public spat.

Brody Miller, Bruce Feldman and Matt Fortuna of The Athletic dug into the relationship between Saban and his former assistant Fisher. Many sources that spoke to them believe Saban’s comments were at least partially rooted in the Alabama coach’s competitiveness with his former offensive coordinator. Some sources told The Athletic that they felt Saban was making excuses for losing to Texas A&M in recruiting, while another felt that Saban could not cope with his former assistant beating him head-to-head last season.

“Nick’s always gonna make an excuse,” the source, a former LSU staffer, said. “He should’ve just said, ‘Maybe we need to do better job with NIL.’ But he’s now done that twice to Jimbo. He did it also after signing day. When Nick does that, he’s attacking someone’s character.”

This is, of course, largely speculation, albeit from people who know both Saban and Fisher. Saban seemingly wanted to make his point about NIL rights, but slipped up when he explicitly named Texas A&M. Had he not done that, Saban’s comments probably don’t even register that much. He knows that, and that’s why he apologized for that aspect of them.

For what it’s worth, Texas A&M did have the top-ranked recruiting class of 2022, but Alabama still came second. The difference isn’t that great.

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