The college football world needs Nick Saban but can’t have him
Athletic directors and school presidents are scrambling. What the world of college football needs is Nick Saban in charge. Saban is unavailable, not even to save college football.
The current mess was recently summarized by former Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops,
right now no one is in control of anything… and i’m not sure it’s always good
If only the NCAA, school presidents and athletic directors had listened carefully to Saban’s warnings about the dangers of free agency, there might have been rules to limit NIL’s conversion from a good way to compensate players. into unlimited “pay-to-play”. agreements made with recruits and transfers.
Three years ago, Nick Saban was the first to warn immediate eligibility through the transfer portal created free agency for college football. One of the results was, again as predicted by Nick Saban,
(the new transfer rules were going to) make the rich even richer
Nick Saban has mastered the new rules
Saban and Alabama football has adapted and gained more value from transfers than any other program.
Now that rookie buying and transfers have become commonplace thanks to a never-wanted NIL loophole, Saban is convinced the current state of college football is unsustainable.
Others argue that the worries are overblown. The most common retort is that the same financial transactions have always taken place. The only difference being that most were hidden in the past, now it is done openly. Josh Pate disagrees,
The other “no big deal” answer is that the inflated trade value will cause market corrections and stabilize well below high school players who get $8 million trades. While this answer is partially true, it ignores the reality that boosters do not make “market-based” investments. In many cases, they do the opposite by intentionally nurturing their passion for a specific program and trying to buy championships.
The current frantic attempt by the NCAA or the feds to remedy the situation will likely be futile. The NCAA has no credibility and even if the US Congress came across good solutions and adopted them, an organization similar to the NCAA would have to enforce new rules.
Bob Stoops and others think a new organization is needed.
In my opinion, we need a new leadership group. The NCAA and the way it has been has really failed overall. Who still follows the rules and who gets how they enforce them? It seems so ambiguous. … I was very disillusioned for a very, very long time on the NCAA
Who would be the ideal person to lead a new organization? Nick Saban sure, but the Alabama football world isn’t about to let that happen.
Issues of “pay for play” are broader than football. Men’s basketball is a bit different and other sports are affected as well.