TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (WIAT) — The tension stirring between Nick Saban and Jimbo Fisher is top of mind for fans in Tuscaloosa after the two head coaches traded shots over players being paid for name, image and likeness.

Most of the people CBS 42 spoke with said they back what Saban said – some even questioning if they will still be friends.

“I think Nick told the truth and some people didn’t like it,” Tuscaloosa Resident Ronnie Johnston said. “I hope the NCAA amends their rules, so they make it fair for everyone. I think all the players need to paid actually, not just certain ones.”  

Some opinions are a little stronger than others.

“I’m not that into it,” Tuscaloosa resident Jayna Weaver said. “I saw the headlines, but that’s about it.”

Some fans are right on par with Saban’s comments after saying schools like Texas A&M are buying their players.

“I think NIL is a little out of control like Saban says,” Alabama Senior Patrick McNally said. “I hope we’re not paying players to come here. I think they should just come here because it’s Alabama and a championship school.” 

CBS 42 Sports Analyst Jim Dunaway said name, image and likeness was designed for players after they were already on campus.

“I think a lot of coaches, about 40 or 50 of the major football programs, they want to know can we use it for recruiting or do we have to wait until they are on campus?” Dunaway said.

Dunaway said the landscape could be changing for NIL.

“It’s the natural evolution,” Alabama junior Gatlin Ashley said. “It’s going to keep going on and on. At the end of the day, Alabama’s going to end up buying players too.” 

Alabama plays Texas A&M at home on October 8. Either way, the Crimson Tide will be seeking redemption after losing to the Aggies during the 2021 regular season.

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