Nick Saban gives solution to potential NIL locker room drama

Nick Saban, Alabama Crimson Tide, Holly Rowe, ESPN. (Photo by Jamie Schwaberow/Getty Images)
Nick Saban, Alabama Crimson Tide, Holly Rowe, ESPN. (Photo by Jamie Schwaberow/Getty Images) /

Alabama head coach Nick Saban offered an interesting solution to NIL locker room drama.

With NIL here to stay in the college landscape, Nick Saban already recognizes how unequal compensation could impact the sanctity of a locker room.

Though college sports are in the infancy of NIL, the real big issue has to be the seemingly unregulated transfer portal. In time, well-run programs like Alabama will have a better grasp on these new components surrounding college football than most. When asked about what needs to be done regarding NIL, Saban argued for equity across the board to avoid potential disruptions.

Here is what Saban said about NIL on Friday’s episode of The Paul Finebaum Show.

"“I think the reason I made that statement was if we’re going to promise players that we’re going to create Name Image and Likeness, it’s going to create problems in the locker room unless everybody gets the same thing – which is the model we’re going to have.” said Saban. “As coaches, the way I feel about it is we’re there to create a platform for our players to be successful and you create value for their future. Whether you develop a career off the field or whether they have a chance to go to the NFL someday and have a great career there.”"

Saban argued that it is more important to keep the main thing the main thing in college, which is to get an education and prepare these young men for what life could be like once football ends.

"“That’s what we want to stay focused on, not how much money a guy’s going to make while he’s going to college,” continued Saban. “And I think that’s the part that we’ve all got to get our heads together on and say what’s best for the game.”"

An NIL system where all players receive the same compensation is great in theory, but it runs counter to the motives of a capitalistic society. Then again, players go to Alabama to win and get ready for the NFL, not to maximize every last stinking cent of their NIL earning potential.

Nick Saban offers an interesting solution to potential NIL locker room drama

Though other programs have been quicker to the NIL game than Alabama, the Crimson Tide are going to figure it out and run over the rest of college football because that is just what they do. They do not need to entice some prospect from the other side of the country with seven-figure NIL deals to get him to play for them. This is Alabama after all, where winning is the main thing.

There may be stipulations put in by the local collective that will allow every Alabama football player to receive the same compensation. Though some players may want to transfer to get a bit more coin, one would think they would realize they are leaving the best program in the country over the last 15 years for more money. There will always be a sea of money, chase what matters.

Ultimately, other elite programs like Georgia, Ohio State and presumably a reluctant Clemson may go in this direction like Alabama seems to be heading in. Uniformity and fair compensation will help keep the focus on what is really important at a place like Alabama: Getting an education not just in the classroom, but in life. It is an interesting problem, but Saban is an elite problem solver.

Expect Alabama to perfect how to navigate the world of NIL better than most other programs.

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