Nick Saban Accuses Deion Sanders And Jackson State Of Paying A Player $1 Million In Rant Against NIL

Nick Saban accused Jackson State football of paying a recruit a million dollars to attend the school during a speech Wednesday night.

“Jackson State paid a guy a million dollars last year that was a really good Division I player to come to school. It was in the paper. They bragged about it. Nobody did anything about it,” Saban said.

The Alabama football coach didn’t name which player it was.

Rumors of a multi-million dollar NIL deal between top prospect Travis Hunter and Barstool Sports began to fly shortly after Hunter committed. Sanders said Saban’s comments were a lie and he plans to address them on Thursday:

“You best believe I will address that LIE Coach SABAN told tomorrow,” Sanders wrote on Twitter. “I was & awakened by my son @ShedeurSanders that sent me the article stating that WE PAYED @TravisHunterJr a Million to play [email protected] ! We as a PEOPLE don’t have to pay our PEOPLE to play with our PEOPLE.”

A source close to the JSU program told The Clarion Ledger there was no deal in place between Hunter and Barstool in December. The next day, Jackson State coach Deion Sanders denied the rumors during a television appearance on ESPN.

“A million and a half? I heard a million in a half. I heard Dave Portnoy from Barstool. That’s the biggest lie I’ve ever heard,” Sanders said. “You know what that is? That means we kicked you butt, we took what was ours, and now you’ve got to make up an excuse why. Ain’t nobody getting no million and a half. I wouldn’t pay my son a million and a half in NIL. How am I going to coach a guy making more than me?”

Sanders recently spoke out about how NIL money is affecting the behavior of players and how he’d like to see it addressed.

“When you start paying athletes like they’re professionals, you get athletes acting like they’re professionals,” Sanders said. “And you don’t have staffs large enough and equipped enough to handle a young man with money. Let me go deeper. Handle a young man that’s making more money than some of the coaches on staff.”

Hunter has an NIL deal with J5 Caffe, a Black-owned, Mississippi-based coffee company. He said in a recent Instagram video that he doesn’t have any new endorsements.

Deion Sanders’ son, Shedeur Sanders, is the first college football player to sign an NIL deal with Gatorade. He also has deals with Beats By Dre and Brady Brand among others.

Deion Sanders and Nick Saban both have endorsement deals with Aflac. They starred together in a television commercial last year.