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Saban Doubles Down on Call for ‘Parity’ in College Athletics

Sports Illustrated logo Sports Illustrated 5/21/2022 Mike McDaniel
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The Alabama coach expanded on his comments regarding parity in college athletics as he appeared on ESPN+’s coverage of the PGA Championship on Saturday.

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After Alabama coach Nick Saban made waves earlier this week by throwing barbs in the direction of Texas A&M coach Jimbo Fisher for “buying his players” from his top-ranked recruiting class via NIL deals. Days earlier, Saban mentioned his concern for the lack of “parity” in the sport. The legendary Crimson Tide coach doubled-down on his comments on the ESPN+ coverage of the PGA Championship on Saturday.

Saban joined ESPN’s Joe Buck and golf commentator Michael Collins on the early morning coverage and elaborated further on his call for parity in college football.

“Well I think the problem with all of that is there isn’t parity, and it’s not going to create competitive balance. The spirit of competition and the interest that you have is that the more parity there is, the more balance there is, the more interest there is because there’s a lot of close games and they come down to the wire. I think that’s what people enjoy and that’s what people want to see,” Saban said.

“So some kind of way–and I don’t have the solution to the problem–we have to create that some kind of way in college athletics.” 

Saban has been extremely vocal in calling for “guardrails” around NIL and the transfer portal in college athletics.

“The hard thing is there are no guardrails on this road. You can do whatever the hell you want, and in the end, most of this is not good for the players. You know, there are some terrible statistics out there about guys that transfer and how many of those guys graduate, terrible statistics on that. And we’re enticing a lot of that,” Saban said.

While the rivalry between Alabama and Texas A&M now has some added fuel for their annual matchup this fall after Saban’s comments about the Aggies, there are certainly some questions around college athletics moving forward as parity and the impact of NIL becomes a major focus of decision makers around the sport.

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For more Alabama coverage, go to Bama Central. 


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