The subject of Name, Image & Likeness rights has been a hot topic in sports since it was officially enacted last year. Now, Alabama coach Nick Saban is continuing is vocal opposition of what he deems is misuse of NIL by schools to get quality players. Nick Saban, speaking at a 50-day countdown events for the World Games, addressed NIL and directly called out Texas A&M University & Miami as schools that he believed used it to get quality players. However, his direct call-out of Deion Sanders and Jackson State was the most shocking in his rant.
“Jackson State paid a guy a million dollars last year that was a really good Division I player to come to school.” Saban said during his rant, “It was in the paper. They bragged about it. Nobody did anything about it.”
It’s alleged that Saban is speaking about Jackson State’s shocking recruit of #2 ranked high school player in the ESPN300 ranking system. After the news broke in December that Hunter would play for the Tigers, rumors surfaced that the top-ranked recruit would be getting a $1.5 million NIL deal courtesy of Coach Deion Sanders media partners Barstool Sports. This claim was immediately refuted by Coach Sanders, saying on ESPN Radio’s morning show KJM.
“That’s the biggest lie I’ve ever heard,” Sanders spoke to the hosts. “You know what that is, that means we kicked your butt, we took what was ours and now you gotta make up an excuse why. Ain’t nobody got no million and a half. I wouldn’t pay my son a million and a half.”
Further research of headlines about Jackson State as well as their recruiting by HBCU Pulse finds that Jackson State payed no players to join their team. Coach Sanders tweeted about the comments by Saban, saying that he’ll respond further later today.
You best believe I will address that LIE Coach SABAN told tomorrow. I was & awakened by my son @ShedeurSanders that sent me the article stating that WE PAYED @TravisHunterJr a Million to play at @GoJSUTigersFB ! We as a PEOPLE don’t have to pay our PEOPLE to play with our PEOPLE.
— COACH PRIME (@DeionSanders) May 19, 2022