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#pounditThursday, March 30, 2023

Nick Saban says he turned away 2 players over crazy NIL demands

Alabama coach Nick Saban looks on. Photo Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

The new name, image and likeness rules in college sports have changed the way many schools operate. The rules have even led Nick Saban to turn away a few players.

Saban spoke Thursday at the 18th annual Alabama Football Coaches Association (ALFCA) convention at the Embassy Suites in downtown Montgomery. He was asked at one point about the impact of NIL rules on recruiting. The Alabama Crimson Tide coach shared two examples of what happened.

According to OutKick, Saban said that someone representing one of the best high school cornerbacks in the country wanted $800,000 for the player to sign with Alabama. Saban apparently told them they could find another school. Saban added that he wasn’t about to pay a player before they’ve earned it.

The identity of the recruit was not disclosed, but the No. 1 cornerback recruit in the country ended up with Colorado. It was the second straight year that Deion Sanders successfully flipped the commitment for the No. 1 CB.

Saban was also asked about the transfer portal and said that the Tide had lost 10 players to transfers.

“We lost 10 players and one starter to the portal this year. One of them wanted $500,000 and for us to get his girlfriend into law school at Alabama and pay for it. I showed him the door,” Saban said.

That’s a pretty wild demand.

The one starter Alabama lost was left guard Javion Cohen, but there is no indication he is the player in question. Cohen ended up transferring to Miami and receiving an endorsement deal very quickly.

Alabama players still earn NIL deals, but it seems obvious that Saban feels those deals should be earned in the way they were intended — like true endorsement deals.

Alabama went 11-2 last season, a year after going 13-2 and losing to Georgia in the national championship game. The Tide have won the CFP championship three times and lost in the final three times since the new format was introduced in 2014.

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