"Rich will get richer and poor more poorer": Nick Saban accuses modern NIL-era of brewing "caste system" by degrading spirit of college football

2021 SEC Championship - Georgia v Alabama
2021 SEC Championship - Georgia v Alabama

Former Alabama Crimson Tide head coach Nick Saban has expressed displeasure with the current college sports landscape, which includes NIL deals and booster involvement within those deals.

Nick Saban started his coaching career in 1973 before retiring in 2023. Saban spent time at both the collegiate level and in the NFL with the Houston Oilers, Cleveland Browns, and Miami Dolphins. He won a total of seven national championships, including six with the Crimson Tide.

Read more: Nick Saban credits parity in NFL unlike college football stars' lackluster mindset

Nick Saban spoke at the roundtable discussion at Capital Hill regarding name, image, and likeness rights for student-athletes:

"You're going to create a caste system where the rich will get richer and the poor get poorer, and evntually the fans will look at it like, 'I really don't want to watch the game.'"

He went on to elaborate:

"It's whoever wants to pay, the most money raised, the most money to buy the most players is going to have the best opportunity to win."

Saban also spoke to ESPN at the conclusion of the season regarding the growing trend of players' eagerness to sign new NIL deals.

"Well, all the things I believed in for all these years of coaching, 50 years of coaching, no longer exist in college athletics."

The NCAA allowed college athletes to accept endorsement deals and profit off of their name, image, or likeness beginning in July 2021 as an interim policy.

Nick Saban's coaching career

Discover BCS National Championship - Notre Dame v Alabama
Discover BCS National Championship - Notre Dame v Alabama

After playing two seasons at Kent State from 1970 to 1972, Nick Saban was hired there as a graduate assistant coach in 1973. Saban would bounce around to different schools as a positional coach at Syracuse, West Virginia, Ohio State, Navy, and Michigan State.

The Houston Oilers of the NFL then hired Saban as their defensive back coach in 1988. He spent two seasons there before getting his first head coaching opportunity at Toledo. Saban returned to the NFL as the Cleveland Browns' defensive coordinator after just one season at Toledo.

He made his return to college football in 1995 as the head coach of the Michigan State Spartans, where he spent five seasons. Saban then moved to the SEC when he took a job at LSU and won his first bowl game as a head coach, along with his first national championship in 2003.

He once again returned to the NFL as the head coach of the Miami Dolphins before finding his long-term home in Alabama in 2007. During his 17 seasons with the Crimson Tide, Saban won the SEC title nine times and captured six national championships.

Also Read: Nick Saban's daughter, Kristen Saban, shares hilarious video hinting at desire of seeing her son play in the NFL: "Is this my future?"

Quick Links

Edited by Sidharta Sikdar
App download animated image Get the free App now