Nick Saban responds to Jimbo Fisher: 'I should have never singled anybody out'

Nick Kelly
The Tuscaloosa News

The drama-filled game of table tennis between Alabama football coach Nick Saban and Texas A&M coach Jimbo Fisher continues. 

Wednesday night, Saban said the Aggies bought their 2022 recruiting class. He also mentioned Deion Sanders, his commercial pal with Aflac, and how Jackson State paid a player $1 million. Sanders tweeted later in the night that he would "address that LIE Coach SABAN told." 

Then, Thursday morning, Fisher throttled Saban with blast after blast in a press conference. 

Fisher called Saban a narcissist, said somebody should have maybe slapped Saban when he was a kid and the way Saban goes about his job is despicable. Fisher used that word seven times.

"Some people think they're God," Fisher said. "Go dig into how God did his deal, you may find out about a guy, a lot of things you don't want to know. We built him up to be the Czar of football? Go dig into his past or anybody that's ever coached with him." 

After the guns-blazing press conference from Fisher, Saban joined ESPNU on Sirius/XM radio Thursday afternoon and dumped some water on the blaze. 

"I should have never really singled anybody out," Saban said. "That was a mistake and I really apologize for that part of it." 

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Saban said he reached out to Fisher but didn't get a response. 

"I feel bad about it, but I'm not changing my philosophy," Saban said. "I look at the betterment of college football. What is good for the game? Sometimes those things are not what's best for Alabama. I've been doing this for a long time. My whole focus has always been, how can we help players be successful." 

Saban said he wasn't trying to say anybody did anything illegal in using name, image and likeness in his comments Wednesday. 

"That was something that was assumed by what I said, which is not really what I meant, nor was it what I said," Saban said. "There's nothing illegal about doing this. It's the system that allows you to do it, and that's the issue that I had." 

Saban has issues with collectives, not NIL. He doesn't see a difference between an alumni giving money through a collective to give to players and donors giving the money straight to players. 

"So the collective becomes a representative of the school and can't do that," Saban said. 

Nick Kelly covers Alabama football and men's basketball for The Tuscaloosa News, part of the USA TODAY Network. Reach him at or follow him on Twitter: @_NickKelly