While the college football world is catching its collective breath in the aftermath of the Jimbo Fisher-Nick Saban public spat, there’s one Hall of Fame coach who isn’t ready to let it go.
“I don’t know why he is mad at Saban,” former Florida and South Carolina coach Steve Spurrier told DawgNation.com. “Did Saban say something that wasn’t true?”
The Fisher-Saban feud was ignited Wednesday night when Saban told a group of local business leaders that “A&M bought every player” in its top-ranked 2022 recruiting class with “a deal for name, image, likeness.” Saban went on to say that Alabama was “doing it the right way” and that only 25 of its players had NIL opportunities.
On Thursday, that feud exploded when Fisher vehemently lashed back, calling the Alabama coach’s remarks “despicable.”
“Some people think they’re God,” Fisher said Thursday. “Go dig into how God did his deal. You may find out … a lot of things you don’t want to know. We build him up to be the czar of football. Go dig into his past, or anybody’s that’s ever coached with him. You can find out anything you want to find out, what he does and how he does it. It’s despicable.”
Saban, meanwhile, told ESPN on Thursday that he reached out to Fisher and Jackson State coach Deion Sanders, wanting to apologize for mentioning their specific schools and for any suggestion that they were cheating to get players. But Saban didn’t back down from his stance that paying high school players under the guise of NIL to attend a certain school was bad for college sports.
He reiterated that point Saturday. Appearing during ESPN’s coverage of the PGA Championship, Saban said it was “not my intention to criticize anyone, just trying to make a point about the state of college football and college athletics right now. … I think we have some unintended consequences of name, image, likeness and some of the circumstances we’re in right now.”
The SEC has publicly reprimanded both coaches for their comments.
Spurrier, however, said he didn’t find any fault with Saban’s original comments.
“I don’t think Saban told any lies in there, so I don’t know what [Fisher] was mad about,” Spurrier told DawgNation. [Fisher] beat him last year, I guess he can talk now. He hasn’t beat much of anybody, but he beat Saban last year. But they haven’t won the division or anything since he’s been there.”
“… Did Saban say something that wasn’t true?”
Spurrier, a six-time SEC champion and seven-time SEC coach of the year who won the 1966 Heisman Trophy with the Gators as a player, recently was given the Nick Saban Legacy Award, along with the late Eddie Robinson.