Paul Finebaum explains why news of NCAA penalties don't hurt Jimbo Fisher: 'I think the criticism of Fisher is somewhat manufactured'
Last week, the NCAA revealed Texas A&M’s football program, including head coach Jimbo Fisher, had been caught breaking NCAA rules. The Aggies admitted the violations, one was a Level II violation and the other was a Level III violation, and were hit with some relatively minor recruiting restrictions and put on probation for a year as a result.
While putting the Aggies on probation may seem harsh, Texas A&M is still eligible for the postseason and the SEC Championship in 2020. The big key for the Aggies moving forward the next year is to not break any additional NCAA rules while under probation.
Following this news out of College Station, Paul Finebaum was asked by Birmingham-based WJOX 94.5 FM radio show “The Roundtable” how hot Jimbo Fisher’s seat is following an 8-5 season, and now following these new penalties handed down to Texas A&M by the NCAA.
“I still don’t think it’s that hot, because the people that are behind him are the Aggie fans and boosters and they still like me believe in him and he’s recruiting well,” Finebaum said on the show. “And I think last season, he got a pass because of the schedule. It was a ridiculously hard schedule. He played pretty much everyone in the top five or six. [Texas A&M] had Georgia and Alabama, Clemson, I mean there’s just no way, LSU, I mean there’s no way of getting around his schedule.”
When it comes to any damage that may have been done to Fisher’s reputation following news of the NCAA penalties, the SEC Network host believes anyone suggesting that is likely Fisher’s competition in recruiting.
“I don’t think the announcement the other day is going to damage him very much, because I think the public has a low threshold these days, or high threshold, I should say, for NCAA sanctions unless you really put teeth in them – and you could argue that there was a little more teeth in these in some. But I think if he has a good — if we have a season — and he has a good season, I think this will pass,” Finebaum continued.
“I think right now, I think the criticism of Jimbo Fisher is somewhat manufactured by those who are recruiting against him.”
If you read into the allegations against Fisher and his program, Finebaum has a good point. There isn’t much to them and the vast majority of the punishment has already been paid by the Aggies during the previous recruiting cycle.
Guess what, the Aggies still signed a top 10 recruiting class nationally and the No. 4 class in the SEC last cycle while dealing with these penalties.