Nick Saban (head coach of the Alabama Crimson Tide football team) was in Nashville last week to speak at the annual College Football Playoff revenue/expansion announcement, which included discussions about the playoff’s future and the benefits of expanding the format. The 10th ranked Crimson Tide are the defending national champions, and Alabama has won the last six years in a row.
The 2017 Alabama Crimson Tide are college football’s self-proclaimed best team and the final four in the College Football Playoff. Now, they are focused on winning another national championship. Today, we will take a look at some of the recent developments in college football, including the latest on the College Football Playoff and potential expansion, the National Interlocal League’s recent expansions, and a new report on the topic of child abuse in the NFL.
We’re at Week 14 of the College Football season — and now the College Football Playoff is set. Alabama, Clemson, LSU, TCU, Michigan State and Ohio State are now in the playoff mix. In the playoff semifinals, Auburn will travel to Seattle for a game against Washington, while Penn State will visit Atlanta for a game against Georgia. (All times are Eastern). Read more about nick saban nfl and let us know what you think.
TUSCALOOSA, ALBERTA (AP) — The sport has never seen an offseason with so much upheaval, from a possible enlarged College Football Playoff to another round of conference realignment to athletes being able to earn off their name, image, and likeness for the first time.
During an exclusive interview with ESPN, Alabama coach Nick Saban, who has led the Crimson Tide to a record six national titles, addressed several of the significant changes in college football.
How has your team performed in terms of vaccinating players against COVID-19?
Our men have all been vaccinated save for one, but it may still be a problem. It’s said that if 90% of your staff gets vaccinated, you’ll be OK, but who knows? You don’t have to quarantine men if you’ve been vaccinated.
Are you optimistic that we’ll be able to return to full-capacity stadiums this season?
That decision must be made by someone else. Do you only admit individuals who have been vaccinated? Do you believe that anybody may attend the game at their own risk? I’m not sure what they’ll do with all of that information. I’d want to return to normalcy, but someone needs to make a choice about what is really safe.
What have you informed your athletes about how their name, image, and likeness may be used to make money?
“Hey, you’ve always been able to work,” I explain it to the player. Until a few years ago, virtually every player was employed. When we got to the point where we could pay for summer school and they received this additional money for cost of attendance, most of the men didn’t want to work. Some of the men would take internships or whatever they wanted, but they didn’t feel compelled to work. As I previously said, this is just another method for you to earn money by working.
You’re permitted to have representation for it, but the money you’ll earn on your name, image, and likeness will probably be a drop in the bucket compared to what you’ll make if you pursue a career as a player. As a result, you must prioritize and recognize that nothing is unusual about this. The more value you generate for yourself, the more possibilities you’ll have in terms of your name, image, and likeness, as well as opportunities at the next level. It all boils down to becoming the greatest player possible. If you’re preoccupied by it, you’re essentially punishing yourself.
You stated earlier this summer that quarterback Bryce Young had almost a million dollars in non-guaranteed contracts. Is it true that any of your other gamers are earning a lot of money from their NIL? Do you have concerns about inequity in the locker room?
Nobody else, I believe, is earning a lot of money, but the players who have a name are making a lot of money. My main issue is [gender equality in the locker room]. So far, I haven’t heard any [complaints]. “When you play in the NFL, nobody makes the same money,” I told our guys.
Everything has always been the same in college. That will not be the case any longer. Some positions and players will be given more chances than others, but it’s pointless to be jealous of them. You must generate as much value for yourself as possible. I’m not sure how it will impact individuals.
Alabama coach Nick Saban said, “When it comes to players transferring, “My philosophy has always been that if we hire a person who doesn’t fulfill our expectations, it’s our problem, not his. Why should he be punished for something he didn’t do?” Vasha Hunt is a sports reporter for USA TODAY.
How much effort does your team devote to teaching your athletes the difference between a good and poor NIL deal?
We have an entire staff dedicated to it, and they have to look at every transaction. Every transaction isn’t a good bargain, and you have to be sure you want your name linked with anything you do, I told the men.
Through the transfer link, your club added former Tennessee linebacker Henry To’o To’o. Georgia needed to fill gaps in its secondary, so the team recruited two defensive backs from West Virginia and Clemson. Is the transfer portal just going to exacerbate the divide between college football’s haves and have-nots?
We would have gotten more out of it if we had more room. We didn’t have much room since we had such a successful recruiting year. The greatest players, in principle, will not leave the finest programs. However, some individuals will wish to leave and attend the finest programs. Some [backend] [players] on your roster who don’t believe they’ll play may depart, but it won’t harm you too much.
I believe it will reduce rather than increase the number of chances available to athletes. Why would you recruit [high school] players when you can accept transfers, as some of the [Group of 5] institutions do? You are only allowed to transfer once. You know they’re going to be here if you receive 19 transfers. He may depart if I get a good [high school] player. Why would you go out of your way to attract high school players? That’s a lot of chances that high school students will miss out on.
How much more difficult is roster management now that the transfer site has been implemented?
Because there are only so many initial [scholarships], I believe it makes roster management very tough. They need to come up with a process for getting initials back, in my opinion. If you have a graduate transfer, I’ve always believed you should receive an initial back. You performed your job with the man; he graduated from high school and wants to play for a fifth year somewhere else. For that, you should receive an initial response. You should receive an early return if you have a player depart early for the NFL draft. That’s when I come to a halt.
Many people suggest you should acquire one for each man that departs, but if you do that, you’ll end up with a lot of running men. You could attempt to get every person on your squad who you felt wasn’t going to be a contribution out the door and replace him with someone else if you knew you were going to receive an initial for every guy who departed, every member you had on your team who you thought wasn’t going to be a contributor. That, in my opinion, is not healthy for athletes. That is not the sort of atmosphere I believe you want to foster.
We have guys that enjoy being here and are unconcerned about their position on the squad. You’re punishing them if you push them out the door. My view has always been that if we hire a man who doesn’t fulfill our expectations, it’s our problem, not his. Why should he be punished for something he didn’t do? I’m not sure how many coaches would see it that way if they’re trying to improve their squad.
The College Football Playoff is contemplating a 12-team expansion. What are your views on the addition of eight additional teams to the College Football Playoff?
I believe you should ask yourself a few questions about it. How essential are bowl games in college football, given that the larger the playoff grows, the less bowl games there will be? How many games are suitable for college students to play? How would you prioritize the calendar, given the possibility of playing 17 games if we have 12 teams in the playoff? Will you be playing fewer regular-season games? Are you going to exclude the SEC title game from the schedule? You might be looking at 17 games if you play 12 games and have [the SEC title game]. Will you be playing games during the dead week? Will you be playing games during finals week? Will you be playing games during the holidays? There are a lot of issues that need to be addressed, and it’s not just about whether or not a 12-team playoff is a good idea.
What are your thoughts on conference champions receiving automatic invitations to the College Football Playoff?
I don’t like the fact that the [Group of 5] conferences want their conference champions to be in the playoff. I coached at Toledo and we were conference champions. We sure as hell didn’t have any business playing Florida. That’s not the best teams. If you are going to do it, get the best teams. The other argument is are we getting the four best teams now? Is there somebody not getting in that could win? I think you could make an argument for Texas A&M [last season], but we beat them by  points. They had a good team.
That’s a question I’m not sure I can answer. I’m asking myself all the questions, and how does it fit? This isn’t the National Football League. “Alright, Alabama, if you want to sponsor a team, go grab the greatest players, and they don’t have to go to school, and we’ll pay them,” we should say if we want to be an NFL model. We’ll have a postseason and follow the NFL’s rules, but it won’t be the NFL.
But, with all of these changes, are we on our way to a college football paradigm similar to the NFL?
It seems to be the case. College football is a place for men to receive an education, and the more money we pay athletes, the less sports we’ll have. If we start paying players, we’ll only have nine sports instead of 21. There will be no golf squad, track team, or anything else. Then you’re removing possibilities for individuals who participate in non-profit sports.
The fact that collegiate sports is not a business is where everyone misses the boat. People who believe it’s a business have the incorrect idea, in my opinion. It generates money, yet no one benefits from it. When Wayne Huizenga bought the Dolphins for $500 million, he earned $50 million a year and sold the club for $950 million. That’s how business is done. In college, all you have to do is reinvest all of your earnings into other sports, infrastructure, and scholarships. There are more than 300 individuals that are eligible, not only 85 football players.
“Well, the coaches earn a lot of money,” the argument goes. Do we, on the other hand, generate value? Whether they pay me more or not, Alabama is earning more money than they ever did before I got here.
Do any of these changes have an impact on how long you want to coach?
There’s no denying that it’s different, and it’s going to alter a lot of things. You have to adapt to whatever the regulations are, in my opinion. Adapting is difficult, but you simply have to do it. It hasn’t convinced me that I don’t want to coach or that college football is a terrible sport. It’ll simply be different this time.
Oklahoma and Texas have accepted offers to join the SEC, with the first season beginning in 2025. How do you want the league to be organized after the Longhorns and Sooners join?
When you consider how our league is growing, you’ll notice that you’ll be playing more excellent teams. You’ll have to lose a few more games. What impact does this have on people’s chances of making the playoffs? You could play two divisions and three teams on the other side if we play 10 games in the SEC, which I would not be averse to [because] I’ve always wanted to play more SEC games. So you’re going to play everyone every two and a half years. If they want to remain at eight or nine, they should do the pods [of four teams], which means you’ll only have three set opponents and will play five or six teams from different regions or pods. In three years, you’d have played everyone.
If SEC schools play nine or ten SEC games and the playoff is extended, Group of 5 and FCS institutions will have fewer chances to arrange guaranteed matchups, which help supplement a significant part of their athletic budgets. Is this anything that worries you?
I’m not even against giving them money so that they can run programs. However, no one wants to come to some of these games, and the players are beginning to refuse to participate in them, just as they refuse to play in bowl games. How many players refuse to participate in a bowl game? How many players did Florida have who hadn’t been in a bowl game the previous season? None of this is good for college football, and I don’t believe it is healthy for the kids.
They won’t be able to have programs if we don’t play these schools in terms of revenue sharing. They probably wouldn’t be able to keep their program going if they didn’t be paid $1.6 million to come play these games. You’ll simply keep reducing the number of chances for players to participate. I don’t really want to play such schools, but they need funds. We still need to work out some kind of income sharing arrangement with them, otherwise they won’t have any programs. Nobody wants to do that, but you’ll end up with a lot of kids who won’t be able to go to college, receive scholarships, or play sports. I don’t believe everyone considers the big picture. “OK, you’re earning all this money in football,” people say, but they don’t look at where it all goes.
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