BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — The head of the Southeastern Conference is reprimanding two head coaches of dominant college football teams for words that were exchanged between the two through the media over the last 24 hours.
On Thursday, SEC Commissioner Greg Sankey publicly criticized Alabama’s Nick Saban and Texas A&M’s Jimbo Fisher for talk that turned hostile over the course of a couple of days. It started Wednesday when Saban claimed that Texas A&M had “bought every player on their team” during their last recruiting session.
“You read about it, you know who they are. We were second in recruiting last year. A&M was first. A&M bought every player on their team. Made a deal for name, image and likeness. We didn’t buy one player. But I don’t know if we’re going to be able to sustain that in the future, because more and more people are doing it. It’s tough,” Saban said.
The next day, Fisher had harsh words for Saban, whom he coached under at LSU, calling him a narcissist and that they are “done.”
“Some people think they’re God,” Fisher said. “Go dig into how God did His deal. You may find out about a guy, a lot of things you don’t want to know. We build him up to be this czar of football. Go dig into his past or anybody who’s ever coached with him. You can find out anything you want to find out what he does and how he does it.”
As a result of Saban’s, a public reprimand is issued for comments he made in violation of SEC bylaws related to ethical conduct for derogatory comments, as well as public criticism of another institution’s athletics program. Fisher was reprimanded for public criticism of another member institution’s staff.
The SEC released the following statement related to the comments made by Alabama head football coach Nick Saban and Texas A&M head football coach Jimbo Fisher.
“The membership of the Southeastern Conference has established expectations for conduct and sportsmanship that were not met last night nor today,” SEC Commissioner Greg Sankey wrote in a statement Thursday. “A hallmark of the SEC is intense competition within an environment of collaboration. Public criticism of any kind does not resolve issues and creates a distraction from seeking solutions for the issues facing college athletics today. There is tremendous frustration concerning the absence of consistent rules from state to state related to name, image and likeness. We need to work together to find solutions and that will be our focus at the upcoming SEC Spring Meetings.”
Saban has since issued an apology.
“I should have never really singled anybody out,” Saban said during an appearance on ESPNU Radio Thursday afternoon. “That was a mistake and I really apologize for that part of it.”
Alabama will play Texas A&M on Oct. 8 in Tuscaloosa.