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Jumbo Package: Jimbo goes Full Aggie in defensive rant toward Saban

Your latest Crimson Tide news and notes.

Scott Halleran, Getty Images

Happy Tuesday, everyone. Texas A&M coach Jimbo Fisher seems to be a bit thin skinned when it comes to his freshly minted #1 recruiting class.

Fisher, one of Saban’s former assistants at LSU, said on The Paul Finebaum Show in December that, “There were a lot of NIL deals going on before all this was going on, they just weren’t legal. Nobody told nobody.”

Fisher, though, strongly denied that Texas A&M had any NIL fund it used to pay its 2022 recruits, calling that “garbage” and saying the suggestion “pisses him off.”

“To me, it’s insulting to the players that we recruited that that’s why they would come here,” he said. “You ever been to a game here? You ever come to school here and see the education? You ever talk about the ‘12th Man,’ the Aggie Network when you’re done? There ain’t a better university in this country.”

So, Jimbo admits to under the table shenanigans in December, then is insulted by the insinuation that money was used to sway recruits to College Station. Anyhow, today’s challenge is to listen to Jimbo’s hissy fit here, then compare his voice and cadence to this fellow. Be prepared to discuss.

Meanwhile, Saban says that he wasn’t accusing anyone of anything.

Bottom line: Saban didn’t have a fully-formed piece of legislation that would close loopholes that allows for the implication of abusing NIL through loopholes in the patchwork of regulation.

He was more advocating for integrity while, again, “not accusing anybody” of creating NIL deals tailored specifically for athletes at a specific school.

“Somebody should pick a school because of the institution, the relationships that they have, how they can develop personally, academically and athletically and the kind of program that they have and the kind of institution that they wanna go to,” Saban said. “I just hope that it doesn’t get to where name, image and likeness deals are created for high school players to get them to go to a particular institution.

To be fair, it was Kiffin who called out A&M specifically, not Saban. In any case, this silly little spat is done until the next signing day. Guess we’ll see how it all evolves from there.

Saban also said that earlier reports of Bill O’Brien’s imminent departure were premature.

Alabama football coach Nick Saban doesn’t believe offensive coordinator Bill O’Brien wants to leave right now for an NFL job.

“Bill’s done a great job for us here,” Saban said Wednesday. ”Bill’s had a very successful career. I don’t think Bill’s trying to leave. I think he likes it at Alabama, and we have an opportunity with some pretty good players at the quarterback position and other positions to continue to grow and develop here offensively, and I think he’s looking forward to that challenge.”

As I’ve posited about Pete Golding through the years, fans very likely grade Bill’s performance on different metrics than Nick does. If O’Brien generally did things the way Nick wanted them done, then Nick owns a large share of the credit and blame. Speaking of Pete, he may be the national recruiter of the year after this haul.

Six top 100 players, plus Lewis and Ricks? Have a class, Pete. Saban’s full NSD press conference is embedded below for you.

Alabama may actually build a new basketball and gymnastics arena.

The University of Alabama board of trustees is set to meet Thursday and Friday in Birmingham with an agenda item to approve the project scope and budget for the “Athletics Competition Arena.” That would indicate the momentum toward building a new facility over renovating Coleman Coliseum was moving toward reality.

Further details were not immediately available.

This is welcome news for so many who have longed for a new venue with improved sight lines and acoustics, but the timeline is anyone’s guess. In the meantime, should Alabama basketball drive you to drink, you will soon be able to satisfy the urge inside Coleman.

That should be interesting.

Last, Jim Harbaugh did not land a NFL job and is thus returning to Michigan.

Despite leaving Michigan on National Signing Day to interview for an opening with the Minnesota Vikings, Jim Harbaugh has decided to spurn NFL opportunities to remain the coach of his alma mater, CBS Sports’ Dennis Dodd reports.

“Jim Harbaugh told [athletic director] Warde Manuel that this would not be a [reoccurring issue] and he would stay at Michigan as long as it wants him,” ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported.

Michigan fans are celebrating today, pretending to forget that the bulk of them were ready to run him out of town a year ago. Ah, the life of a college football coach. At least the money is great.

That’s about it for now. Have a great day.

Roll Tide.