Did SEC’s Greg Sankey just side with Nick Saban on NIL deals? ‘We’re seeing just straight payments’

Greg Sankey’s comments on NIL deals may have shed some light on where the SEC commissioner stands in the feud between Alabama coach Nick Saban and Texas A&M coach Jimbo Fisher.

“There are some concerning trends,” Sankey told Yahoo Finance. “We’re not seeing name image and likeness activity — we’re seeing just straight payments. And I think it’s important that we recenter ourselves on what’s supposed to be happening here and the desire to keep that activity out of recruitment to benefit young people economically but to do so in a healthy way.”

The comments come on the heels of Texas A&M coach Jimbo Fisher calling Nick Saban a “narcissist” on Thursday. Those remarks were made after the Alabama coach accused the Aggies – and Jackson State’s Deion Sanders – of paying for players.

Saban has apologized, and Sankey followed with a public reprimand for both.

Yahoo Finance, who spoke with Sankey and five Division I athletic directors on May 18, published Sankey’s comments Friday. Sankey’s comments were made the same day Saban’s remarks sent the college football world into a tailspin.

Despite the timing of the comments, one can’t help notice that they tend to lean toward Saban’s stance on name, image and likeness. Like Saban, Sankey didn’t state any rules – or laws – were broken. So, in that regard, Sankey and Fisher agree. Of course, the commissioner isn’t going to publicly state he sides with one coach over the other.

However, Sankey isn’t alone. Yahoo Finance reports Penn State AD Sandy Barbour said, “We feel like we’re in a little bit of crisis, a little bit of chaos.”

Check out the full report here.

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