Yahoo Sports’ Dan Wetzel and Sports Illustrated’s Pat Forde discuss an email sent by the Texas A&M administration to SEC commissioner Greg Sankey asking for the league to suspend and fine Alabama head coach Nick Saban for his comments about Texas A&M’s latest recruiting class.
DAN WETZEL: Nick Saban and Jimbo Fisher in their exciting fight have kind of tried to dial it down. But Freedom of Information Acts have thrown a little salt on this.
PAT FORDE: Uh oh. Uh oh. Here we go
DAN WETZEL: Yeah, On3 has this. The morning after Alabama football coach Nick Saban alleged Texas A&M bought every player on their team, A&M President M. Katherine Banks and Director of Athletics Ross Bjork told SEC commissioner Greg Sankey the conference should consider suspending and fining Saban for his comments. This is an email signed by the aforementioned. We write to express Texas A&M's disappointment and outrage at the recent statements by Alabama University.
PAT FORDE: Alabama University.
DAN WETZEL: Alabama University head coach Nick Saban that A&M bought every player on their team, made a deal for name, image, and likeness, Bjork and Banks' email to Greg Sankey stated. Coach Saban's statement was a blatant violation of SEC bylaws regarding sportsmanship. Also not knowing that it's called the University of Alabama would be considered, right? I don't know. But anyway, back to the email. It's like they make sure to call him Coach Saban to give him some respect--
PAT FORDE: Yeah, yeah,
DAN WETZEL: --but they can't get the school right?
PAT FORDE: Can't get the school-- they've only been in the league for nine years now. They haven't been able to figure out exactly what the name of all the schools are yet.
DAN WETZEL: More significantly, without citing any facts to support his statement, Coach Saban is accusing every single player in A&M's recruiting class and current football team of violating NCAA NIL guidelines and Texas state laws. Coach Saban's statement is false. This one's good. Beneath the dignity of the SEC.
That's rich. Corrosive to the fabric of sportsmanship in college football as a whole and especially within the SEC. We expect the league to take a strong public action against Coach Saban and the University of Alabama. Oh, they get it right this time. Public apology is a good starting point. The league should also consider monetary and participation penalties against Coach Saban. Thank you for your concern and prompt attention to this matter. I'm sure they want him suspended for the first game--
PAT FORDE: October 8th.
DAN WETZEL: --of October. Yeah. We also got that Sankey told Bjork he had cautioned that the press conference should not violate the same sportsmanship policies below. This was against Fisher. And anyway, they ended up-- the public reprimand. So, Pat, should A&M-- were they right? Do they have a point and Saban should be suspended and monetarily fined?
PAT FORDE: Well, I mean, certainly, yes. Because you have to keep in mind the dignity of a conference in which Phil Fulmer once skipped SEC media days to avoid getting subpoenaed by a booster from Alabama as the two were fighting over who is going to pay Memphis prospects the most.
The Steve Spurrier decade of jabbing at everyone around him. The times when like half the league has been-- or more-- has been under investigation at the same time. So, yeah, there's a lot of dignity to protect here for sure.
I just love it. This is beautiful. The great thing about this-- I mean, and this story will not go away as we have seen this. But when you put it in writing, that's when it gets good. And for the school to ask for Greg Sankey to lay down sanctions, and Sankey's response-- I can just see Sankey after rolling his eyes and calling three assistant commissioners, saying, can you believe this [BLEEP]. And then just sending a terse, one-sentence response, I do not view suspension or financial penalty as appropriate at this time. That's a Greg Sankey response.
But sorry, A&M, that Alabama University is not going to be sanctioned and Nick Saban is not going to be sanctioned in this. But I do love the-- boy, the administrative umbrage from A&M does not stop from Jimbo. It trickled up from Jimbo to Bjork to the president. Beautiful. Bring it on.