Nick Saban endorses revenue sharing among college players as ex-Alabama coach joins NIL panel on Capitol Hill

Former Alabama coach Nick Saban came out in favor of revenue sharing with players during a college athletics panel focused on name, image and likeness held Tuesday on Capitol Hill. Speaking to a handful of key senators, Saban pointed to competitive balance and athlete development issues as existential issues for the sport. 

“If we had some sort of revenue sharing proposition that did not make student-athletes employees … I think that may be the long-term solution,” Saban said. “You could create a better quality of life for student-athletes, you could still emphasize development, you can still create brand and athletic development with a system like that and it would be equal in all institutions. You couldn’t raise more money at one school to create a competitive advantage at another.” 

Since NIL was introduced in July 2021, rules have continued to get rolled back, leaving programs in the Wild West. The creation of collectives — independent groups built to sign athletes to contracts on behalf of a university — has only created more complication and confusion. 

Initially, the NCAA tried to push back against collectives, which seemed to explicitly skirt guidelines around pay-for-play and recruiting inducement. Quickly, the organization has found itself mired in lengthy court cases. In February, a federal judge granted a temporary injunction in a case filed by Tennessee barring the NCAA from enforcing any rules on NIL compensation. 

“We have collectives that in some places are raising huge amounts of money and going to compete against places that do not have the same resources to raise those kinds of funds to pay players,” Saban said. “You have a pay-for-play system and a free agency system that has no guidelines, so there’s no…


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