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#pounditTuesday, January 31, 2023

Nick Saban shares what has made it harder for his program

Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

For more than a decade, Alabama was a college football powerhouse. They were regular favorites to win the National Championship, and that made recruiting easy for head coach Nick Saban.

But times have changed. Alabama is no longer the elite of the elite, and Saban has faced rougher terrain in the world of recruiting.

After losing back-to-back road games against Tennessee and LSU this season, several former Crimson Tide players began to question the current culture. But in Saban’s mind, culture is not the issue. Alabama still sticks to its traditions and Saban to his — it’s other things around the sport that have changed. And it’s those things that have altered the landscape in Tuscaloosa.

“The dynamics of college football have changed. It’s more challenging to do that because there’s more opportunity for guys to make changes, whether it’s transfer or name, image and likeness. Whatever it is,” Saban said on his Thursday radio show. “They have more choices than they used to but we still have to get them committed to a certain standard because it creates value for them, it creates value for us and it’s the kind of program we want to represent this university and the tradition of this university.”

This isn’t the first time Saban has subtly criticized the NIL system. Earlier this year, he accused Texas A&M of buying every player on their team by exploiting the NIL system. Aggies AD Ross Bjork quickly called for Saban to be punished for his remarks.

Saban later apologized for singling out Texas A&M, but never backed off his his criticism of college football implementing the NIL system. And it’s clear he still isn’t a big fan of it.

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