Nick Saban has tried to clarify some of his comments from Wednesday night in Birmingham, and did it through a conversation with Chris Low of ESPN.

Saban said he tried to reach out to both Fisher and Deion Sanders of Jackson State to apologize for mentioning their specific schools and for any suggestion that they were cheating to get players. But Saban didn’t back down from his stance that paying high school players under the guise of NIL to attend a certain school was bad for college sports.

“Look, I should have never singled anybody out, and I wasn’t saying that either one of those schools did anything wrong,” Saban told ESPN. “I didn’t intend it to mean they were buying players, but more that you’re able to buy players now and it’s totally legal. You’re just using name, image and likeness to do it. What I’m saying is that it’s not good for the game and is only going to get worse unless there’s some federal legislation.”


While Fisher declined Saban’s call, and said their relationship was “done,” Saban said it’s not personal.

“Jimbo can say what he wants to say,” Saban said. “We’ve known each other for a long time. He worked for me and is a very good coach. As I said, it wasn’t my intention to single anybody out, but I don’t take things personally. Some people, when they compete against each other, everything’s personal. It’s never been that way for me. Bill Belichick and I are best friends. We were in the same division for two years (in the NFL) when I was in Miami and never had an issue.”

Saban furthered clarified what he’s against in college football.

“I’m not against NIL. I’m against bidding for high school players. I’m against attorneys, collectives and others getting between the money and the players,” Saban said. “Is that really what we want it to be in college football?”