At SEC Media Day today in Birmingham, Nick Saban lashed out at NFL agents who break NCAA rules when recruiting college football players.
Saban: “How are they any better than a pimp? How would you feel if they did that to your child?”
Probably not a coincidence that the TUSCALOOSA NEWS reported earlier today that Alabama defensive end Marcell Dareus had been declared ineligible after the NCAA discovered that Dareus attended a Miami party hosted by a sports agent.
While Saban will be sure to blame the sports agent for ensnaring the Alabama football player, don’t expect the $5 million-dollar-per-year coach to identify the conditions that led to Dareus wanting to live it up a little on a sports agent’s dime in South Beach.
Saban’s diatribe today about agents and the NFL’s lack of oversight was more than a little ironic considering that all high profile college football coaches - including Saban - invoke their ability to deliver an athlete an NFL career as a primary recruiting pitch.
Every single recruit who Saban signs has been pitched the idea that Alabama will give him the best chance to make the NFL, and the millions that could accompany such a career. (However small the actual chance of it happening.)
Funny thing though, that job description sounds a lot like what an NFL agent also does on the recruiting trail. Though with one notable exception: Saban, the Univ. of Alabama, television networks and countless other entities and individuals make millions off the labor of the Alabama football player - who is paid next to nothing in comparison.
Meanwhile the NFL agent is the one who gets paid next to nothing in comparison to the NFL contract and endorsements that he’ll help facilitate for Saban’s former Alabama players.
So if NFL agents are pimps, what does that make Saban?
If you were a college football player and saw everyone around you on the gravy train making millions, except you, how would you feel? Would that make you more likely to take benefits from an agent? The same agent who may help you make the money you deserve in the future?
Of course, taking benefits from an agent is breaking NCAA rules. So if you’re a player who wants to chase the recruiter-enabled NFL dream without living under such absurd laws, what can you do?
NCAA football is a monopoly. If you want to get to the NFL, you either enrich the NCAA and Saban along the way - for nothing financially in return - or forget it.
The NCAA business model is no such thing. It’s a racket.
In other words, not only is Saban himself the pimp, he’s also the john.