New Name, Image and Likeness rules have changed college football because they allow players to make money off endorsement deals. There are also some concerns arising that some NIL deals are not actual endorsement deals, but rather a device used in pay-for-play deals.
Fisher says people should brush those concerns aside because the reality is players have been getting paid all along anyway.
“There were a lot of NIL deals going on before all this was going on, they just weren’t legal. Nobody told nobody,” Fisher told radio host Paul Finebaum.
"There's always been NIL stuff going on, it just wasn't legal."
The difference now is that they can find ways to make the deals fit within the rules. The other big difference is these transactions can go on the books officially rather than be under-the-table cash deals. The IRS sure likes that.
Either way, like Fisher alluded to, players have been getting paid for a long time in college football, so things aren’t quite as different as some are making it out to be.
How bad did LSU want Texas A&M’s Jimbo Fisher? In late November, LSU was prepared to offer Fisher an 8-year, $125 million deal – $13 million/year – to come to LSU, sources told @ActionNetworkHQ. Those numbers earlier reported by @billyliucci
That would be a crazy amount annually ($15.625 million/season), and more than any other coach in college football. Maybe LSU didn’t get to the step of offering Fisher the deal because they were told he wasn’t leaving Texas A&M. Fisher initially left Florida State for a 10-year, $75 million deal at A&M.
Fisher coached Florida State to a national title in 2013 and had six double-digit win seasons in Tallahassee. He’s in his fourth season at A&M and 8-4 this year. Though he hasn’t won double-digit games in a season yet, his 9-1 season last year was regarded as a big breakthrough for the program.
LSU is one of the numerous college football head coach jobs that are available. The Tigers’ job might also be the most desirable spot given the school’s resources, rich recruiting base, passionate fans, and history of success.
So who are the Tigers interested in hiring as a replacement for Ed Orgeron? We may have an idea.
Kentucky Sports Radio’s Matt Jones, who is well-connected on matters related to Kentucky athletics, reported that LSU had contacted Kentucky football coach Mark Stoops regarding their job.
In response, Jones says an LSU source reached out to him and shared LSU’s top-3 candidates. Stoops was listed at No. 3 behind Jimbo Fisher and Bill O’Brien.
VERY Good LSU source just saw my report and told me the LSU list is this
Fisher has been a known top target for LSU’s athletic director. O’Brien is the current offensive coordinator at Alabama. He previously was the head coach of the Houston Texans and won the AFC South four times in six seasons. O’Brien also coached Penn State for two seasons before James Franklin took over.
Stoops has been the head coach at Kentucky since 2013. The Wildcats have typically been a lower-tier SEC football team, but they have enjoyed winning seasons in five of the last six years under Stoops. He topped out with a 10-3 season in 2018.
LSU has kept pretty quiet regarding its search, but it wouldn’t be surprised if this were their list. Fisher has already responded to the LSU rumors. Maybe O’Brien is a more realistic target.
One intriguing name that has come up in LSU coaching rumors is that of Texas A&M coach Jimbo Fisher. While that looks highly unlikely, one reporter thinks the Tigers are still going to try.
In an appearance on “Breaking the Huddle with Joel Klatt,” FOX Sports’ Bruce Feldman said that LSU athletic director Scott Woodward is still very eager to try and lure Fisher to Baton Rouge. Woodward originally brought Fisher to Texas A&M from Florida State, and some at LSU are convinced the athletic director will try to repeat that (around 17:30 in the episode).
“From what I’m hearing from people around LSU is that Scott Woodward is not giving up easily and he feels like he may be able to pull Jimbo Fisher again, even though the A&M people are like ‘no, that’s not happening,'” Feldman said. “Ultimately this will be Scott Woodward’s hire. Can Jimbo Fisher really say no to him? We’ll see.”
Fisher himself has brushed aside the rumors, but that’s unlikely to make them go away. He was also Nick Saban’s offensive coordinator at LSU from 2000-2006, which will only fuel those rumors. It would likely take a huge sum of money to pull Fisher if it’s even possible, but the Tigers might just be willing to try it.
That sounded rather convincing from Fisher. It’s also worth noting that he just led Texas A&M to one of its biggest wins in program history when they defeated then-No. 1 Alabama two weeks ago. Even if Fisher is willing to listen to LSU, now would not be the time to admit it. Plus, Fisher delivered almost the exact same quote before he left Florida State for Texas A&M several years ago.
Fisher has ties to LSU, which is why many feel he makes sense for the program. He was with LSU as an assistant coach under Nick Saban in 2003 when the Tigers won a national title. Also, LSU athletic director Scott Woodward hired Fisher at Texas A&M back in 2017 before Woodward left for LSU.
If you saw the video of Fisher dancing in the locker room after the Aggies’ win over Alabama, you know he isn’t lying about how happy he is with his current situation. Of course, things can change quickly in college football. The Fisher-to-LSU speculation won’t stop until the Tigers make a hire.
That looked a lot like the way Ted Lasso celebrated with his Wichita State football players during the pilot episode of the Apple TV+ show. Here’s the clip from the show:
Fisher had plenty of reason to let loose. He became the first one of Saban’s former assistants to ever beat the seven-time national champion. Saban’s record against his former assistants heading into the game was astonishing.
Nick Saban is known for being short with the media during the week leading up to games, but the Alabama coach made it clear this week that his irritability is nothing personal.
With Alabama getting set to face Texas A&M, Saban was asked by a reporter on Thursday if he keeps in touch with Aggies head coach Jimbo Fisher. He said he doesn’t make small talk with anyone during the week because he’s too busy working.
“I don’t chat with anybody. I really don’t,” Saban said, via Mike Rodak of AL.com. “I don’t talk to people during the course of the week. I mean, Miss Terry if I’m lucky. I don’t see anybody except our staff. We work.”
Saban said it is “nothing personal” that he doesn’t chat with Fisher.
“And I don’t think most of them that are doing a good job and working hard have time to do it either,” he added. “They look at their phone and see what’s this guy want?”
Jimbo Fisher was already extremely well-paid by Texas A&M. Now his pay is going to be increased even more.
The Houston Chronicle’s Brent Zwerneman reported on Tuesday that Fisher is expected to receive a 3-year contract extension. He also will receive a pay raise from $7.5 million to around $9 million.
Under the terms of the expected new contract, Fisher would be the second-highest paid coach in the country behind Nick Saban.
Fisher originally joined Texas A&M in late 2017 on a 10-year, $75 million deal. The Aggies have gone 26-10 in three seasons under Fisher, including last year’s 9-1 finish. That was their best winning percentage since a 10-0-1 season in 1994. Their AP postseason No. 4 ranking was their highest since 1939.
A&M is convinced that they have a premium head coach in Fisher and want him around as long as possible.
Fisher wants to be the best, and to do so, Texas A&M is going to have to find a way past Alabama. There’s no point in hiding from that. Fisher knows it. He’s won a national championship, and he figures the way to win another one is by projecting confidence and firing up the team and the fans.
Still, a guy like Saban is likely to use any trash talk as a motivational tool. Someone who knows the Alabama coach well thinks Fisher made a huge mistake calling Saban out. Ultimately, we probably won’t know until October whether Fisher helped or hurt his team’s cause.