Alabama Crimson Tide’s Nick Saban unsure on NIL effects, knows it won’t be ‘equal’

HOOVER, Ala. — Alabama coach Nick Saban was reticent on Wednesday to provide any sweeping predictions about how athletes being able to profit off their name, image and likeness will impact the sport of college football.

“Anything that I say now, because there’s no precedent for it, you don’t really know how it’s going to affect things,” Saban said.

On Tuesday, Saban told a gathering of Texas high school coaches that sophomore quarterback Bryce Young will make nearly $1 million in endorsements.

The inevitable disparity in earnings among teammates runs contrary to the level playing field college football has long strived for, Saban said at SEC media days on Wednesday.

“Everything that we’ve done in college athletics in the past has always been equal,” he said. “Everybody’s had equal scholarship, equal opportunity. Now that’s probably not going to be the case. Some positions, some players will have more opportunities than others.

“How that’s going to impact your team, our team, the players on the team, I really can’t answer because we don’t have any precedent for it.”

Saban said they’re trying to educate players.

“I know that we’re doing the best we can to try to get our players to understand the circumstance they’re in, the opportunity they have, and how those opportunities are not going to be equal for everybody, and it will be opportunity for our team’s success that people are not looking over their shoulder at what somebody else does or doesn’t do,” he said.

For his part, Alabama defensive lineman Phidarian Mathis said he was happy for Young earning money.

“I just want to see everybody win at the end of the day,” he said.

Asked whether there could be any potential locker room issues, Mathis said no.

“Not really, because at the end of the day, that’s why I love my team,” he explained. “Everybody’s happy for everybody. This is something we all think we deserve as players, so I don’t think it’s jealousy. I think it’s more of everybody happy for everybody. We want to see everybody win.”

Several Alabama players have announced endorsement deals since NIL legislation went into effect on July 1, including defensive players Malachi Moore, Chris Allen and Henry To’o To’o, who all have deals to promote PSD Underwear.

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