Nick Saban accuses Deion Sanders, Jackson State of paying a player a million dollars

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Nick Saban accused Jackson State football of paying a football player a million dollars to attend the school during a speech Wednesday night.

“Jackson State paid a guy a million dollars last year that was a really good Division I player to come to school. It was in the paper. They bragged about it. Nobody did anything about it," said Saban.

The Alabama football coach didn't say which player he thinks it was.

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Rumors of a multimillion dollar NIL deal between top prospect Travis Hunter and Barstool Sports began to fly shortly after Hunter committed.

Sanders said Saban's comments were a lie and that he plans to address them on Thursday.

"You best believe I will address that LIE Coach SABAN told tomorrow," Sanders wrote on Twitter. "I was & awakened by my son @ShedeurSanders that sent me the article stating that WE PAYED @TravisHunterJr a Million to play at@GoJSUTigersFB ! We as a PEOPLE don’t have to pay our PEOPLE to play with our PEOPLE."

A source close to the JSU program told The Clarion Ledger there was no deal in place between Hunter and Barstool in December. The next day, Jackson State coach Deion Sanders denied the rumors during a television appearance on ESPN.

"A million and a half? I heard a million in a half. I heard Dave Portnoy from Barstool. That's the biggest lie I've ever heard," Sanders said. "You know what that is? That means we kicked you butt, we took what was ours, and now you've got to make up an excuse why. Ain't nobody getting no million and a half. I wouldn't pay my son a million and a half in NIL. How am I going to coach a guy making more than me?"

Sanders recently spoke out about how NIL money is affecting the behavior of players and how he'd like to see it addressed.

Sep 15, 2018; Oxford, MS, USA; Alabama Crimson Tide head coach Nick Saban walks on the field before a game against the Mississippi Rebels at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matt Bush-USA TODAY Sports
Sep 15, 2018; Oxford, MS, USA; Alabama Crimson Tide head coach Nick Saban walks on the field before a game against the Mississippi Rebels at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matt Bush-USA TODAY Sports

"When you start paying athletes like they're professionals, you get athletes acting like they're professionals," Sanders said. "And you don't have staffs large enough and equipped enough to handle a young man with money. Let me go deeper. Handle a young man that's making more money than some of the coaches on staff."

Hunter has an NIL deal with J5 Caffe, a Black-owned, Mississippi-based coffee company. He said in a recent Instagram video that he doesn't have any new endorsements.

Nick Saban, the Aflac duck and Deion Sanders pose for a picture on the set of the insurance companies' new campaign for the 2021 college football season.
Nick Saban, the Aflac duck and Deion Sanders pose for a picture on the set of the insurance companies' new campaign for the 2021 college football season.

Deion Sanders' son, Shedeur Sanders, is the first college football player to sign an NIL deal with Gatorade. He also has deals with Beats By Dre and Brady Brand among others.

Deion Sanders and Nick Saban both have endorsement deals with Aflac. They starred together in a television commercial last year.

This article originally appeared on Mississippi Clarion Ledger: Nick Saban accuses Deion Sanders, JSU of paying player million dollars