Home NCAA Nick Saban Opens Up On “Sad” Reality Of College Sports

Nick Saban Opens Up On “Sad” Reality Of College Sports

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Nick Saban Opens Up On “Sad” Reality Of College Sports
(Source: Christopher Hanewinckel / USA TODAY Sports)

The landscape of college athletics witnessed an enormous shakeup over the past few days, setting the stage for what looks to be a new era in college sports.

Washington and Oregon’s decision to join the Big Ten, beginning in 2024, alongside Arizona, Arizona State, and Utah’s move to the Big 12 during the same season has sent shockwaves through the college football world.

The move towards realignment has brought about mixed emotions, with some expressing concern about the loss of cherished traditions.

Alabama Head Coach Nick Saban shared his sentiments on the situation, expressing sadness over the potential loss of long-standing college football traditions.

“There’s a lot of traditions that we’ve had for a long time in college football,” Saban said. “I think we’re in a time of evolution for whatever reasons. Some of those traditions are going to get, sort of, pushed by the wayside, I think. It’s sad.”

Indeed, the driving force behind this wave of realignment appears to be financial. The SEC and Big Ten are set to rake in over $60 million annually through their new media rights deals, while the Pac-12’s inability to secure a comparable deal has left it on the verge of disappearing.

In light of this, Saban expressed hope that the core values of college athletics, particularly the well-being of student-athletes, would be considered in the decision-making process.

“I think one thing I would just hope that we would keep in mind in all the choices and decisions we make relative to what we do in college athletics is the student-athlete,” he emphasized.

The recent flurry of conference moves has also jeopardized several long-standing rivalries. The famed Bedlam series between Oklahoma State and Oklahoma hangs in the balance, with the Sooners set to join the SEC in 2024.

Mike Gundy, the head coach of the Oklahoma State Cowboys, expressed his disappointment about the rivalry’s uncertain future, saying: “The Bedlam game is over because Oklahoma chose to leave the Big 12, period. It’s not nothing to do with Oklahoma State. Do I like that? No. Do I like that conferences have broken up in the past? No, I don’t.”

However, not all rivalries are destined for extinction. Officials from the University of Oregon expressed hope that they would continue their storied rivalry with Oregon State.

Rob Mullens, Oregon’s spokesperson, stated: “Our goal would be to schedule Oregon State in every sport that is possible. Football schedule can be complicated because of how far out it is and the difficulty of playing non-conference games later in the year, but our goal would be absolutely to continue to play Oregon State.”

Interestingly, while some rivalries face uncertainty, others have been resurrected due to realignment. Texas’ move to the SEC has paved the way for the revival of its annual in-state meeting with Texas A&M, a rivalry that had lain dormant since the Aggies’ departure for the SEC in 2012.

How do you feel about all the movement that’s happened?

Is it good or bad for college football?

What’s going to happen with Clemson, Florida State and Miami?

 

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