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Alabama’s Nick Saban supports compensation, players’ right to a voice

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While Alabama coach Nick Saban stopped short of saying the unionization of college football would be a good thing, he does support the movement for players to get a seat at the table and gain more benefits.

Via AL.com’s Michael Casagrande, Saban weighed in on a debate that’s not going to end anytime soon:

“I’ve always been an advocate of players’ rights. I’ve always been an advocate of players being compensated the best that we can to help them,” Saban said. “Whatever the NCAA rule is and whatever they decide to do, I’ve always been an advocate of the player and the quality of life that a player has. I think that having a voice in what happens, I think, is something that the players probably ought to have.”

“And I’m really not opposed to that at all. I do think that it’s not what it seems.”

There’s more in the story from Saban, who dives into Alabama’s player and career development program and how that benefits players. But given Saban’s program is the closest thing to the pros you’ll find at the college level — as former Crimson Tide defensive end Damion Square said last year, “this is the next level” — it’s not too surprising Saban’s in favor of players having more rights and better compensation.

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16 Responses to “Alabama’s Nick Saban supports compensation, players’ right to a voice”
  1. friarjack61 says: Apr 1, 2014 11:04 AM

    What benefits…..no longer, have to attend classes ??
    Too many of these so-called college student-athletes, can’t speak the Kings English, and I suspect that their reading an math skills are reflective in their ACT scores…..something, I suspect Nick does not concern himself with knowing ?

  2. imaduffer says: Apr 1, 2014 11:07 AM

    Come to Alabama, our compensation packages are the best in the Nation.

  3. igeorgiaboy says: Apr 1, 2014 11:23 AM

    recruiting tactic… nothing to see here…

    even if he doesn’t honestly believe the players should be paid, why not throw a little chum in those waters to get the kids to bite!

    #WeSeeYouSaban

  4. rodge1 says: Apr 1, 2014 12:54 PM

    Of course he supports the things he already does.

  5. mcjon22 says: Apr 1, 2014 1:06 PM

    Of course he does, his players are already getting paid.

    When ESPN had that behind the scenes special a few years back during Bama’s training camp, one of the first scenes was mark Ingram rolling up in a Hummer.

    Yeah, because all college players not getting paid can ride around in Hummers right??

    It’s not just Bama, it’s the entire SEC and almost every other major program. The SEC just flaunts it and takes it to the next level.

  6. BrownsTown says: Apr 1, 2014 1:18 PM

    Tom Al-Betar

  7. guinsrule says: Apr 1, 2014 1:34 PM

    Saban probably is in favor of unions, he’s from West Virginia, one of the most pro-union states in the country. He just happens to be coaching in one of the most anti-union states in the country, so he can’t come out say it.

    Not that it really matters though, does anyone really think Bama won’t step up and pay whatever it takes to run a football program even if it comes to paying players?

  8. mauldawg says: Apr 1, 2014 2:00 PM

    NS, I wouldn’t believe anything he says. To many college football players are given degrees today. Just ask NC players. Listen to the players talk after a game. They make me look smart. They cant put two words together that sound like English. You cant tell me that these players pass college classes. Todays players for the most part have been given grades from K-12th grade. Next season just listen to them during pre and post game interviews. They are to busy acting like they are the only player in the history of college or pro football that has ever made a tackle or scored. As much as I love college football,its sad how the players have made a joke of it. The schools have let things get out of control.

  9. friarjack61 says: Apr 1, 2014 2:06 PM

    Bingo, mauldawg !!!!!

  10. barkleyblows says: Apr 1, 2014 2:23 PM

    Of course he does…. Doesn’t he do this now tho?

  11. irishdodger says: Apr 1, 2014 2:24 PM

    Enough w/ the Liberal guilt by all the sports commentators who think the world owes every American the same amount of money & that life is fair. Nip this crap in the bud…abolish the NCAA, pay the players salary which will be taxed at the appropriate bracket & consider them employees of the University…nothing more. No need to attend class, no need to reside on campus or be anything other than a hired hand of the college. Then the ones who do want to EARN a degree can remain student-athletes knowing they aren’t going to be paid like pros. At the end of the day, that athlete may not make the pros but they’ll have a degree from the likes of Duke, Stanford, Northwestern, UVA, Notre Dame, Vandy, Baylor, etc to start a successful (maybe lucrative) career. Meanwhile, most of the “paid” employee will never play in the NFL and will have squandered the precious money that the elites in the media insist they receive. Sadly, those same elites will be crying that they should receive a bailout or a pension for 4-5 years of “service”.

    Think about the recruiting of “paid” players. The states w/ no state income tax will immediately be more attractive. Then will the player be allowed break their salary over a 12 month period or a 9-month period to correspond to the school year? In the end, the fans (& taxpayers) will be the losers in all of this.

  12. rolltide510 says: Apr 1, 2014 4:19 PM

    To be fair, before I actually read what the Northwestern players were proposing, I too thought it was about paying players; it stands to reason after all.

    But now that I know the union proposal has nothing to do with pay for play, I don’t risk looking stupid when I claim it is on message boards.

  13. dmvdmv101560 says: Apr 1, 2014 6:12 PM

    He’s in the SEC – they already pay their players so why wouldn’t he support it! If it becomes legal he can spend more time coaching his players than trying to cover up the payments!

  14. irishdodger says: Apr 1, 2014 7:31 PM

    @rolltide: you’re correct….it’s not about being paid. BUT…if they can unionize, they can collectively bargain.. To say it’s not a slippery slope is naive. No need to panic yet….this will be appealed…numerous times. Like is said in earlier post….cut to the chase & pay these kids allowing them to opt out of the entire college experience. But when they blow out their knee or are just not good enough for the pros…no more money.

  15. ytownjoe says: Apr 1, 2014 9:00 PM

    I have to give Nick Sabin a lot of respect for believing players deserve a seat at the table.
    Sabin has benefited from college football to the extent that he is one of the highest paid coaches in the NCAA. His salary increases over the years reflects the increased millions in profits going to universities. Players, on the other hand, continue getting the same tuition, room and board they have always gotten.
    It’s time that the players’ compensation is increased, just as the coaches and universities they work for got theirs.

  16. normtide says: Apr 2, 2014 9:12 AM

    Wow, lots of love here. If Saban saved a bus of kids, y’all would cuss out the kids.

    Browns- tattoo-gate. Pryor’s new car every six weeks. You sir, have no moral authority to draw from. Plus, you openly support the browns, so your an idiot.

    The SEC has wanted to start a stipend for a long time now. The b1g is firmly against it. Here is a secret, the big programs want to pay players, they can afford it.

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