Nick Saban no longer has to stress over the ever-changing college football landscape as a retired coach, but he hopes that his voice can help bring reform to the sport he loves.

Saban spoke to ESPN’s Chris Low about advocating for change in CFB. He cited a love for a sport that he doesn’t recognize.

“If my voice can bring about some meaningful change, I want to help any way I can because I love the players and I love college football,” Saban told ESPN. “What we have now is not college football, not college football as we know it. You hear somebody use the word ‘student-athlete.’ That doesn’t exist.”

While still an active coach, Saban was often suggested as a potential college football commissioner. The retired coach, who has signed on as an analyst with ESPN while also maintaining an office at Alabama in an adviser role, told Low’s he’s not looking for a job in CFB. He did indicate that he’s open to being a spokesperson.

Like many fans and commentators, Saban takes issue with the current state of compensation and commitment, telling Low that a collective “has nothing to do with name, image and likeness.”

One of the suggestions Saban shared with Low was to move to a school-based compensation model, moving away from collectives.

“People can give money to the university again and get a tax deduction for doing it, and the university in some kind of way shares, whether it’s share revenue, whether it’s buying marketing rights, which is a possibility,” Saban suggested. “You can buy somebody’s marketing rights as an institution, and I don’t want to say cap because that sounds like a salary cap, but find a way for schools to invest the same amount of money in players, just like everybody can invest the same amount in a scholarship. This becomes a part of the scholarship.”

For that approach of compensation to work, Saban says contracts would be needed.

“Just like an NFL player has a contract or a coach has a contract, something in place so you don’t have all this raiding of rosters and mass movement,” Saban said to Low.

The college football world listens when Saban speaks. It will be interesting to see if he will use the College GameDay desk as a platform to advocate for NIL and roster reforms.

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