Jimbo rips Saban: Some people think they're God

by Ricardo Gutierrez - Jimbo Fisher delivered a fiery rebuttal to Nick Saban's comments from Wednesday night that Texas A&M "bought every player" in its vaunted 2022 recruiting class, calling Saban's comments "despicable" numerous times a news conference.

Jimbo rips Saban: Some people think they're God

Texas A&M football coach Jimbo Fisher rips Alabama coach Nick Saban's NIL accusations: 'Some people think they're God' play Jimbo Fisher gets heated reacting to Saban's criticism (2:42) Texas A&M head football coach Jimbo Fisher responds to Nick Saban's comments on his program's recruiting practices. (2:42) 12:25 PM ET Dave WilsonESPN Staff Writer Close Dave Wilson is an editor for ESPN.com since 2010. He previously worked at The Dallas Morning News, San Diego Union-Tribune and Las Vegas Sun. Jimbo Fisher delivered a fiery rebuttal to Alabama coach Nick Saban's comments from Wednesday night that Texas A&M "bought every player" in its vaunted 2022 recruiting class, calling Saban's comments "despicable" numerous times in a quickly assembled nine-and-a-half-minute press conference. Fisher, who was visibly angry, said there was no truth to Saban's accusations. "We never bought anybody," the Texas A&M coach said. "No rules are broken. Nothing was done wrong. It's a shame that you've got to sit here and defend 17-year-old kids and families and Texas A&M Because we do things right. We're always going to do things right. We're always going to be here. We're doing a heck of a job." Fisher seethed, obviously taking Saban's comments personally. And while he didn't ever name Saban, Fisher's response was similarly personal. "It's despicable that a reputable head coach can come out and say this when he doesn't get his way," Fisher said. "The narcissist in him doesn't allow those things to happen. It's ridiculous when he's not on top." Texas A&M signed five five-star prospects in 2022 ESPN300, with 20 of them ranked in the top 150. The class is widely considered the top-rated group in the modern era of recruiting rankings. Fisher, who served as Saban's offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach at LSU from 2000-2004, cast accusations of his own against Saban. "Some people think they're God," Fisher said. "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." He said Saban had called him, but he hasn't answered. "Not going to. We're done," said Fisher, comparing his time with Saban and his time as an assistant at Florida State under Bobby Bowden, before taking over as the Seminoles' head coach. "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 wanna be associated with him." "You can call me anything you want to call me," Fisher said. "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." Saban said on Wednesday night that Alabama players made $3 million "doing it the right way" last year and that only 25 players were able to leverage NIL opportunities. "I mean, we were second in recruiting last year," Saban told a group of local business leaders Wednesday. "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." Fisher's response: "What's funny, in that talk, right before he said that about us? Wasn't he soliciting funds from the crowd?" he said. "It's amazing, isn't it? When you walk on water, I guess it don't matter." Fisher was asked if it will be awkward seeing Saban at SEC spring meetings or playing Alabama on Oct. 8. "Awkward about what?" Fisher said. "I don't mind confrontation. Lived with it my whole life. Kinda like it myself. Backing away from it wasn't the way I was raised." Thursday's press conference was reminiscent of Fisher's defense on signing day in February where Fisher went after an anonymous message board poster who uses the handle "Sliced Bread" for claims that the Aggies had $30 million at their disposal in name, image and likeness funds, calling it a "joke." Fisher said the claim was amplified by the media, a Notre Dame administrator and fellow SEC coaches for spreading rumors about deals promised to recruits, saying it was "insulting" and "irresponsible." Ole Miss coach Lane Kiffin said, "I joked the other day, 'Are they going to implement a luxury tax on Texas and Texas A&M?' I mean what they are paying the players is unbelievable, but it's legal." On Thursday, Fisher lamented the need to continually defend his class: "It's disgusting what we're into right now," he said. "Especially by the people were throwing the darts who have no glass in their house. It's despicable for what it does for the sport." Fisher hinted that Saban's comments this offseason about his hopes parity can return to college football were hypocritical based on the way he ran his own program with a huge staff of off-field analysts. "The operations, the way things were done the other way when the 'parity' was there?" Fisher asked "Never had been parity. Certain people never follow the rules anyway." Obviously there's going to be a lot of chatter between now and Oct. 8 with Fisher and Saban meet. "You know exactly what he's about. My dad always told me this: When people show you who they are, believe them. He's showing you who he is."