Nick Saban Talks NIL, Business of College Sports at Spring Meetings

Nick Saban Talks NIL, Business of College Sports at Spring Meetings

With the SEC Spring Meetings underway in Destin, Florida, Nick Saban spoke to the media yesterday about a wide range of topics including NIL and the business of college sports, or in his mind, the fact that college sports is not a business.

“I think the big mistake that people make is that college athletics is not a business. People say it’s a business, it’s not a business, it’s revenue producing. When I was a coach with the Miami Dolphins and Wayne Huizenga owned the team, that was a business. He took a profit, he made money, he made a huge investment, that doesn’t happen in college athletics. We reinvest every cent into non-revenue sports, into scholarships, into things that create opportunity, into things create opportunities, which is really good,” Saban stated. 

Saban, while he has gotten on board with NIL, has cautioned about the dangers of turning college athletics into a business from the beginning. To say a billion dollar industry like college athletics is not a business however, feels a bit like coach Saban is getting caught up in the semantics of the definition of the word “business”.

College athletics is absolutely a business, whether Saban likes it or not. Over the coming years, the evolution of NIL and the big business of college sports will be a fascinating thing to monitor.

Michael Brauner