Last week, the SEC passed a new rule that prohibits an athlete from transferring to an SEC school if they have had a “serious misconduct” issue while at another collegiate institution. Thursday morning, Nick Saban was asked about the new rule, where he revealed that he is not a fan.
Saban’s issue isn’t as much with the rule is as it is with it handicapping the SEC against the other Big Five conferences. “What I’m most concerned about — I just think we should have the same rules in the SEC as all the other Big Five schools have because now we’re not just talking about the SEC,” Saban stated. “We’re talking about having a playoff, no different than the NFL. One division in the NFL doesn’t have different rules, different salary caps, different anything because the league knows that parity is the best competitive balance that you can create.”
It’s a fair point. He even gave some pretty good examples from recent history, ” … but one of the points that I tried to make was Cam Newton being in the SEC and Nick Marshall being in the SEC benefited the SEC and it benefited those players. So if those players were not allowed to play in the SEC, they’d be playing someplace else.”
It’s an inconvenient truth, but if Newton and Marshall weren’t allowed in the SEC, the league could very well have two less national title game appearances. Unless it was strictly prohibited or those players were declared ineligible, they would have definitely found a home on a team’s roster from another conference.
It’s worth noting that both players went to Auburn and, had they been barred from doing so, it would have made Saban’s life a lot easier.
To his credit, Saban didn’t seem opposed to the idea altogether either. He just feels like it should be a unilateral decision made throughout the Big Five, “I’m hopeful that some kind of way we’ll be able to get the Big Five together under the NCAA’s supervision to try to create rules that we all see in the best interest of student-athletes. Which I think we need to be thinking about here, you know?”
He has basically had the same stance on any rule change this summer, espousing a very similar sentiment on the topic of satellite camps.