Nick Saban accused Jackson State Football of paying a football player $1 million to attend the school during a speech Wednesday night.
“Jackson State paid a guy a million dollars last year who was a really good Division I player to come to school. It was in the paper. They were bragging about it. Nobody got anything. done about it,” Saban said.
The Alabama football coach did not say which player it was.
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Rumors of a multimillion-dollar NIL deal between top prospect Travis Hunter and Barstool Sports began flying shortly after Hunter’s engagement.
Sanders said Saban’s comments were a lie and he plans to respond to them on Thursday.
“You better think I’ll respond to what LIE Coach SABAN said tomorrow,” Sanders wrote on Twitter. “Was woke up by my son @ShedeurSanders sending me the article that WE HAVE PAID @TravisHunterJr a million to play @GoJSUTigersFB! As PEOPLE we don’t have to pay our PEOPLE for play with our PEOPLE.”
A source close to the JSU program told the Clarion Ledger that there was no deal in place between Hunter and Barstool as of December. The following day, Jackson State coach Deion Sanders denied the rumors during a televised appearance on ESPN.
“A million and a half? I heard a million and a half. I heard Dave Portnoy from Barstool. That’s the biggest lie I’ve ever heard,” Sanders said. “Do you know what it is? It means we kicked your ass, we took what was ours, and now you have to make up an excuse. Nobody gets a million and a half. I won’t pay my son a million and a half in NIL How am I going to coach a guy who earns more than me?
Sanders recently opened up about how NIL money affects player behavior and how he would like it handled.
“When you start paying athletes like they’re professionals, you get athletes who act like they’re professionals,” Sanders said. “And you don’t have a staff big enough and equipped enough to manage a young man with money. Let me go further. Manage a young man who makes more money than some of the coaches on staff.”
Hunter has a NIL deal with J5 Caffe, a black-owned, Mississippi-based coffee company. He said in a recent Instagram video that he had no new mentions.
Deion Sanders’ son, Shedeur Sanders, is the first college football player to sign an NIL deal with Gatorade. He also has deals with Beats By Dre and Brady Brand, among others.
Deion Sanders and Nick Saban both have sponsorship deals with Aflac. They starred in a TV commercial together last year.
This article originally appeared on Mississippi Clarion Ledger: Nick Saban accuses Jackson State’s Deion Sanders of paying player $1 million