Will Latest Dose of NIL Venom Add Extra to Bama-A&M?
When it comes to one of the more noteworthy instances of offseason drama in the college football world, the ship may not have sailed just yet.
That is because after last month's very public spat between Alabama football coach Nick Saban and Texas A&M coach Jimbo Fisher regarding name, image and likeness compensation, a video which surfaced Thursday appeared to depict Aggie recruits being promised money.
Previously, Saban said A&M "bought every player on their team," in regard to their top-ranked recruiting class. This sparked an outcry from an affronted Fisher, who held a vocal press conference to deny wrongdoing and vehemently fire back at Saban.
In Thursday's video, a staff member for the Aggies tells prospective recruits "Y'all getting a lot of money from the people behind these [Kyle Field] suites if y'all decide to come play here."
The Aggies return to Tuscaloosa on Oct. 8 to take on the Tide, almost a full year after beating Alabama 41-38 at Kyle Field in one of the biggest SEC upsets in years.
With anticipation from both fan bases reaching levels this matchup hasn't seen since the Aggies' early days in the conference, did the build need this extra instance of apparent drama?
It certainly doesn't appear to be a good look for Fisher and company considering the brazen manner in which he not only defended himself and his program, but also attacked Saban.
It's no secret that NIL has caused significant debate and controversy even outside of last month's squabble. However, given that the circumstances of that incident ultimately led to higher-ups at A&M calling on the league to discipline Saban, it makes the optics that much worse.
The upcoming showdown between Alabama and Texas A&M already has the ingredients for a can't-miss college football game. With NIL drama circulating the sport, it will naturally be present at the highest levels of the game, and Thursday's video could add fuel to the fire as it relates to fans being convinced of any misdeeds on the part of a program.
Thursday's video isn't creating any new drama. It is, however, adding to a compounding storyline which encompasses an already eagerly awaited game. For that reason, when A&M comes to town and fans are bringing this saga to the forefront of gametime discussions, it can almost certainly be expected that this video will be part of that.