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Nick Saban headlines SEC contingent headed to Washington DC to vouch for NIL regulation



Alabama head coach Nick Saban is one of several notable SEC figures that will head to Washington, D.C., next week to meet with lawmakers in efforts to regulate NIL.

Saban and the SEC contingent, including commissioner Greg Sankey, will make a case for a federal assistance in regulating how college athletes can earn money off their fame.

“There’s a lot that goes on between our campuses and D.C. And so this is an opportunity to focus on athletics and some of the pressures that we’re facing. To communicate that, given the realities in college athletics, Congress is the place that can fix the issues we have,” Sankey said.

Alabama Crimson Tide head coach Nick Saban during the college football game between the Alabama Crimson Tide and Arkansas Razorbacks on Oct. 1, 2022, at Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium in Fayetteville, Arkansas. (Andy Altenburger/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Saban specifically pushed for the creation of some type of union at the collegiate level earlier this week.


“I have no problem,” he said. “I mean, unionize it. Make it like the NFL. It’s going to be the same for everyone. I think that’s better than what we have now.”

Saban argued that the disparity in compensation in the college ranks was at risk of becoming worse in the future due to the current model that exists in the sport.

“Everything they do in the NFL is to create what? Parity,” Saban said. “If they can have everybody going into the 17th week of the season 8-8, that would be like a dream for the NFL. You think there is disparity right now in college football? There’s going to be more in the future.”

Nick Saban looks at the field

Alabama Crimson Tide head coach Nick Saban looks on during pregame warmups prior to facing the Auburn Tigers at Bryant-Denny Stadium on Nov. 26, 2022 in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. (Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)


“I don’t think it’s going to be a level playing field because some people were showing a willingness to spend more than others,” Saban continued. “Whereas, if you want to bring the NFL into it, they have a salary cap. They have all the things that level the playing field. We can put guidelines on this stuff that would do the same thing.”

College sports leaders have been pleading for help from Congress to get a handle on name, image and likeness compensation since the NCAA in 2021 lifted its ban on athletes being paid endorsers.

Nick Saban coaches against LSU

Alabama Crimson Tide head coach Nick Saban reacts during the first half against the LSU Tigers at Tiger Stadium on Nov. 5, 2022 in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. (Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images)


Lobbying trips to Washington have been common for conference commissioners and other administrators. In this case, the SEC is bringing some star power, with Saban expected to be one of numerous coaches from across several sports.

“Obviously, Nick’s longevity, his success and his relationships have meaning. So it’s important for him,” Sankey said.

The Associated Press and Fox News’ Chantz Martin contributed to this report.

Source: Fox News

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