They said it!: Saban vs. Jimbo and Deion, and one golfer not missing Phil Mickelson

They said it!: Saban vs. Jimbo and Deion, and one golfer not missing Phil Mickelson

A contentious back-and-forth among college football’s coaching elite and more from our best quotes from around the sports world this week.

“I mean, we were second in recruiting last year. A&M was first. A&M bought every player on their team — made a deal for name, image, likeness. We didn’t buy one player, all right? But I don’t know if we’re gonna be able to sustain that in the future because more and more people are doing it. It’s tough.”

Alabama Crimson Tide coach Nick Saban, during an event with local business leaders in Birmingham

“Hell, read about it in the paper. I mean, Jackson State paid a guy $1 million last year that was a really good Division I player to come to the school. It was in the paper, and they bragged about it. Nobody did anything about it. I mean, these guys at Miami that are going to play basketball there for $400,000, it’s in the newspaper. The guy tells you how he’s doing it.”

— Saban, later at the same event

“I should have been more specific when I said ‘bought’ in saying you can buy players now through name, image and likeness and never mentioned any specific school and just said across the sport. That’s on me. But other than that, I don’t have any regrets over what I said Wednesday [at the World Games in Birmingham speaking event].”

— Saban, speaking to ESPN on Thursday

“Some people think they’re God. Go dig into how God did his deal. You may find out … a lot of things you don’t want to know. We build him up to be the czar of football. Go dig into his past, or anybody’s that’s ever coached with him. You can find out anything you want to find out, what he does and how he does it. It’s despicable.”

Texas A&M Aggies coach Jimbo Fisher, responding to Saban’s original comments

“Not going to. We’re done. He’s the greatest ever, huh? When you’ve got all the advantages, it’s easy. … You coach with people like Bobby Bowden and learn how to do things. You coach with other people and learn how not to do things. There’s a reason, people, I ain’t back and worked for [Saban]. Don’t want to be associated with him. You can call me anything you want to call me. You can’t call me a cheat. I don’t cheat and I don’t lie. I learned that when I was a kid. If you did, your old man slapped you upside the head. Maybe somebody should have slapped him.”

— Fisher, on whether he’d answer Saban’s call in apology for singling out Texas A&M

“I don’t even make a million!”

— Jackson State head coach Deion Sanders, responding to Saban’s comments on Twitter

“You can’t do that publicly and call privately. No, no, no. I still love him. I admire him. I respect him. He’s the magna cum laude of college football, and that’s what it’s going to be because he’s earned that. But he took a left when he should’ve stayed right. I’m sure he’ll get back on course. I ain’t tripping.”

— Sanders, on Saban, to Andscape

“Just got on Twitter for the first time today — did I miss anything?”

— UCF Knights coach Gus Malzahn, on Twitter

“It was a fun evening. Phil was not missed. I think Phil would have been a big distraction whether he was here. The story here this week is the PGA.”

Dave Stockton, winner of the PGA Championship in 1970 and 1976, about Phil Mickelson’s absence at the annual champions dinner this week. Mickelson will not be defending his PGA Championship victory this week and hasn’t played in a tour event since late January after controversial comments about the relationship between the PGA Tour and Saudi Arabian financiers of the breakaway LIV Golf Invitational Series.

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