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#pounditWednesday, June 29, 2022

Texas A&M AD wants Nick Saban punished over NIL comments

Nick Saban in red

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Texas A&M is fuming over comments Alabama coach Nick Saban made about the team’s recruiting class, and the school’s athletic director clearly wants the SEC to do something about it.

Saban said in a speech Wednesday that the Aggies “bought every player on their team” by exploiting Name, Image, and Likeness rules. The comments provoked a firm response from Texas A&M Ross Bjork, who accused Saban of violating SEC sportsmanship bylaws by making the remark.

“This is personal. Coach (Jimbo) Fisher views this as a personal attack on his integrity and on Texas A&M’s integrity,” Bjork told Ross Dellenger of SI. “To have personal attacks, to say that the only reason A&M is [recruiting well] is NIL money is wrong. … There are sportsmanship bylaws in the SEC. We believe Coach Saban violated those bylaws.”

Bjork, who accused Saban of feeling “threatened” in making the comments, added that he has been in communication with SEC commissioner Greg Sankey. The athletic director refused to go into specifics about what those conversations entailed.

SEC bylaws prohibit coaches and administrators from “public criticism of other member institutions, their staffs or players.” Of course, Alabama would likely argue that the response to Saban’s comments also constitutes a violation of those bylaws.

Bjork’s comments are not quite as heated as Jimbo Fisher’s were earlier Thursday. They didn’t need to be to convey how angry Texas A&M is, and how personally they view this budding rivalry.

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