Alabama Football: Greg Sankey can muzzle Kiffin but not Spurrier

John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports
John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports /

Apparently, SEC Commissioner does not want other SEC coaches to agree with Alabama football coach, Nick Saban. At least not about certain SEC programs using NIL collectives to buy recruits.

Or maybe Sankey does not mind them doing it quietly, but not on media platforms. Either way, according to Dan Patrick, Sankey banned Lane Kiffin from coming on his show to talk about Saban and Jimbo Fisher.

"Lane Kiffin was going to join us, but the commissioner said he’s not allowed to."

Lane Kiffin is outspoken and enjoys making incendiary statements. In this case, perhaps that poses a danger to the SEC. Greg Sankey by all accounts is both smart and tough and arguably one of the most influential figures in college sports.

Sankey, despite his earned credibility, gained little by muzzling Lane Kiffin. Kiffin will and should use other platforms to speak out. Most believe in publicly defending Nick Saban’s ‘buying players’ claims, Kiffin is openly stating what other SEC coaches are saying privately.

Sankey has little chance of silencing all 14 SEC head coaches on buying recruits through NIL deals. Furthermore, enforced silence is of no value in finding a solution to the current mess college football is in.

Steve Spurrier with support for Alabama football coach Nick Saban

One guy Sankey cannot silence is Steve Spurrier. Spurrier became the SEC’s roaster of all things foolish before Lane Kiffin began his college playing career at Fresno State. Spurrier has fired many barbs at Alabama football and Nick Saban. On Friday, Spurrier chimed in with comments about Jimbo Fisher and Nick Saban.

"I don’t know why (Fisher) is mad at Saban. Did Saban say something that wasn’t true? I don’t think Saban told any lies in there, so I don’t know what he was mad about."

In this case, Spurrier was being serious rather than funny. His candor expands needed conversation about Nick Saban’s belief the current use of NIL in recruiting is not sustainable. Greg Sankey must know that as well.

Greg Sankey will lose the battle to stifle dissent. Other former coaches will speak up and speak out. At some point, among current SEC coaches, it will not just be Saban and Kiffin speaking out.

The sad reality is like other complex problems in the world, there are no clear solutions, to not buying players in a rule-less NIL environment. As an entertainment product, college football will continue to thrive and prosper. The question with the unknown answer is how much will be lost along the way.

Next. Getting it right about Saban and NIL. dark

Whatever Greg Sankey does or does not do, or say, this debate will dominate SEC Media Days in July. Jimbo Fisher is scheduled as the last coach to speak. He might dart into Atlanta just before and exit quickly.