- The Washington Times
Sunday, May 22, 2022

The “Head Ball Coach” is taking Nick Saban’s side. 

Former college football coach Steve Spurrier recently backed the Alabama coach in his spat with Texas A&M’s Jimbo Fisher. 

“I don’t know why [Fisher] is mad at Saban,” Spurrier told DawgNation.com this weekend. “Did Saban say something that wasn’t true?”

The rhetorical question asked by the Hall of Fame coach could have been meant to cast doubt on Fisher’s impassioned defense to Saban’s cheating accusation. 

The brouhaha began when Saban made comments about Texas A&M’s recruiting class at a business event in Alabama last week. Listing both Jackson State and Texas A&M, Saban complained about the current recruiting landscape, namely the way he believes some programs are taking advantage of the NCAA’s name, image and likeness rules. The Aggies are entering the 2022 season with the top recruiting class in the nation

“I mean, we were second in recruiting last year,” Saban said. “A&M was first. A&M bought every player on their team — made a deal for name, image, likeness. We didn’t buy one player, all right? But I don’t know if we’re gonna be able to sustain that in the future because more and more people are doing it. It’s tough.”

Fisher quickly fired back, scheduling an impromptu press conference the next day to defend his program against the cheating claims and criticizing Saban, for whom Fisher used to work under at LSU. Fisher said “we’re done” when telling reporters that he didn’t answer a call from Saban the night the seven-time national champion made his comments. 

Fisher also called Saban a “narcissist” and his comments “despicable.” 

“Some people think they’re God,” Fisher said about Saban. “Go dig into how God did his deal. You may find out about a guy, a lot of things you don’t want to know. We build him up to be this czar of football. Go dig into his past or anybody who’s ever coached with him. You can find out anything you want to find out what he does and how he does it.”

Spurrier, who coached Florida and South Carolina before retiring in 2015, also told DawgNation.com that he doesn’t believe Saban “told any lies” with his comments about Texas A&M. 

“I don’t think Saban told any lies in there, so I don’t know what [Fisher] was mad about,” said Spurrier, who also coached the Washington Redskins from 2002 to 2003. “Since [Fisher] beat him last year, I guess he can talk now.”

• Jacob Calvin Meyer can be reached at jmeyer@washingtontimes.com.

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