Nick Saban thinks buying college football players is unsustainable

Alabama football head coach Nick Saban commented on NIL concerns and was concerned that “buying players” in college football was not a sustainable practice.

Everyone’s trying to get a handle on the big changes college football has seen in the past few years, including Alabama’s Nick Saban.

The head coach, who won the national title, expressed concern about the development of the name, image and likeness.

“I don’t think what we’re doing right now is a sustainable model,” Saban told the Associated Press. “[The current model] creates a situation where you can basically buy players. You can do it in recruitment. I mean, I don’t know if that’s how we want college football.”

Nick Saban thinks buying college football players is unsustainable

Let’s quickly get the cheeky answer out of the way: College football programs have reportedly been “buying players” for a hundred years. Everything is open now.

With that, Saban makes a solid point in terms of sustainability. It was one that echoed recent comments from USC’s Lincoln Riley, Ole Miss’ Lane Kiffin, Clemson’s Dabo Swinney and others.

The problem isn’t that players get paid. It’s the wild west nature of the whole setup. There doesn’t seem to be any rules or structure in place. It’s a feeding frenzy and it’s not good for the stability of the sport. The NCAA has resisted change for so long that they were not at all prepared for it to tumble down the hill.

“It’s okay if players get money. I am in favor. I am not against it. But there also needs to be some responsibility on both sides, what you might call a contract. So that you have the opportunity to develop people to be successful,” said Saban.

Saban wants a specific model.

“We offer everyone the same medical care, academic support and food. Same scholarship. So if we do that, everyone will benefit equally. I’m not going to create a caste system on our team,” Saban said.

In truth, the cat is probably out of the bag. When quarterbacks like Bryce Young have $1 million on the open market, it becomes difficult to convince players to go along with a model like Saban’s proposing.

Still, someone has to step up and create some kind of structure. It’s becoming increasingly clear that college football needs a commissioner or some other figure to move this conversation forward.

Until then it will only be coaches talking about a system that they need to control as best they can.

For more NCAA football news, analysis, opinion and unique coverage from FanSided, including the Heisman Trophy and College Football Playoff standings, be sure to bookmark these pages. Nick Saban thinks buying college football players is unsustainable

John Verrall

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