Nick Saban keeps complaining about NIL preferring an NFL-style pay model

The former NFL coach, who once insisted he won’t be Alabama’s coach, wants to bring a little of the NFL to Alabama.

Nick Saban recently appeared on the know mercy Podcast with Stephen A. Smith. Saban complained (again) about college football’s new NIL reality. And he expressed a preference for an NFL-style model for paying players.

“If we’re going to change the model of college football and follow the NFL model, I’d like to see — if that’s the case — that we pay the players — everyone gets a portion of their stipend that makes them so much money.” said Saban of’s David Cobb. “But now you’re talking about turning college student-athletes into employees, and that alone could present some issues that would need to be addressed. So you’re talking about a similar model to the NFL where you have to get a legal right to do that.

The problem is that there is no legal right for independent colleges to agree to collective rules for paying players. It would be a blatant antitrust violation.

This is what opened the door to name, picture and likeness payments in the first place. The NCAA’s entire existence proved to be a violation of antitrust laws in a number of ways. Dozens of independent universities hid themselves under the NCAA umbrella, which set strict limits on what any one of them could give players – and which specifically prevented those players from capitalizing on their own unique identities.

The colleges are clamoring for some sort of federal legislation that will give them what the antitrust laws prevent. Basically, they want an exception to laws that apply to everyone else.

So why does the NFL have a salary cap model? This happens because NFL players belong to a union that bargains with what the law calls an “inter-employer bargaining unit.” There are no antitrust issues if there is a salary cap and free agency rules, and a blueprint and other means of dividing the workforce across 32 different companies/teams in a way that gives everyone a fair chance.

Saban continues to whine about NIL because the current system is affecting his ability to recruit. There’s only so much money he can shake out of the Alabama booster tree, and much of that needs to go to the program, not the players. Other schools with larger alumni bases and/or in larger markets may get more money, both for the program and for the players.

“[Name, image and likeness] I shouldn’t be giving a speech to collect money from alumni so that we can get enough money in our collective [we] can pay player,” Saban said, coming very close to NIL asking him to rob Peter to pay Paul. “It wasn’t what it was supposed to be.”

It was meant to be a way of redressing a clear and blatant violation of children’s legal rights that has been happening without calculation for decades. When the bill finally came due after a long existence of an inherently corrupt system, things got a bit chaotic. And as we’ve said before, the NCAA and its schools deserve every ounce of the chaos they’re experiencing right now.

It’s a small price to pay for generations screwing student athletes.

As coaches like Nick Saban adjust to a new reality, we’ll regularly see their desperation turning into a cascading verbiage of lofty justifications for not giving players everything they can.

“I am pleased that players have the opportunity to use their name, image and likeness to make money for themselves,” said Saban. “I think that’s great. But I always thought that you go to college to try and create value for your future by doing well academically, being a good person and trying to build a career as a player… I don’t like the trend of “How much money can I make while I’m in college?” How much does this distract from your ability to focus on the things you need to do to create value for your future create?”

That’s right Nick. Capitalism is good when you are the capitalist. It’s only a “distraction” if it interferes with your ability to capitalize on a system that provides you with a free workforce without complicating your efforts to separate more and more of your own compensation package from boosters that only do so much have money to hand over.

Honestly, it would be funny if it weren’t so pathetic to see multi-millionaire coaches try so hard to keep what they have that they are willing to stop players from getting every penny they earn.

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