Watch: Jimbo Fisher, Reporter Talk Texas A&M’s NIL Situation in Awkward Exchange
In a heated exchange with Greg Simmons, Texas A&M coach Jimbo Fischer criticized claims that his program relied upon money via Name Image and Likeness deals to attract top recruits.
Fisher criticized Alabama coach Nick Saban and Simmons during Monday’s comments.
In an interview, Simmons , Fisher was questioned about Saban’s recent comments that the Aggies were the nation’s No. 1. They paid players through NIL partnerships. Fisher bristled at the accusations, saying that only one of the 11 early enrollees from his most recent recruiting class has received an NIL deal.
“It was posted on social media. Fisher stated that everyone believed it. “All the people believed it. I went and checked with our compliance people–because we have nothing to do with it–one guy, of the early enrollees.”
When asked about the perception that Texas A&M has access to large amounts of money via NIL funds, Fisher accused the media at large–and Simmons specifically–of failing to do their due diligence.
“When they said we had $35 million in the [NIL fund]–it’s all false,” Fisher said. It was posted on social media, so everyone believes it. You’ve got news channels believing it, and you believed it.”
Simmons adds that Saban, apparently, believes it, too, but Fisher pushed back at the longtime reporter.
“He’s not news. You’re news, you’re media. Did you guys not do your research? I’m asking you, did you do your research? You can’t answer. Fisher stated, “So you just assumed.” “And that’s how the world works now: Once it’s posted on social media and someone says, you believe it. What does this mean for you guys as reporters?
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“What’s the truth? Nobody wants to hear the truth. You want a story and a click and a hit.”
After Fisher is met with silence, he seemed to take amusement out of Simmons’ avoidance of his questions.
“I threw you off your horse right now. Fisher laughed at Simmons and said, “You’re off your game.
At one time, someone off camera can be heard giving advice for Fisher on how to respond to Simmons’ follow-up questions. Fisher cuts off and waved his hand at them, shouting “Just let me deal !”
.” The clip ends with Simmons asking Fisher whether he had spoken to Saban since the Alabama coach made the comments. He replied he hadn’t . Saban has since apologized publicly, but Fisher seemed disinterested about opening up a conversation with his former boss.
“I shouldn’t have singled anyone out,” Saban stated. Saban said, “That was a mistake. I apologize for that part. I wasn’t saying anyone did anything illegal with NIL. It was an assumption based on what I said. It’s not what it meant. This isn’t illegal. It’s the system. That’s the issue I have.”
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The author of 5 books, 3 of which are New York Times bestsellers. I’ve been published in more than 100 newspapers and magazines and am a frequent commentator on NPR.