Deion Sanders' response to Nick Saban's claim that Jackson State 'paid a guy $1M': 'I don't even make a million!'

It hasn’t generated nearly as much controversy, but Nick Saban’s explosive comments about Texas A&M and NIL payments also included a shot at Jackson State.

While alleging that A&M “bought every player on their team ... made a deal for name, image and likeness” in reference to the Aggies’ top-ranked recruiting class, the Alabama coach also said that Jackson State “paid a guy a million dollars last year.”

“It was in the paper and they bragged about it. Nobody did anything about it,” Saban claimed.

While Saban did not drop a specific name, it was easy to connect the dots to Travis Hunter, the No. 1 recruit in the nation in the class of 2022 who spurned his longtime verbal commitment to Florida State to sign with Deion Sanders and Jackson State.

Saban apologized Thursday, particularly for singling out Sanders and Jackson State.

Sanders, the Pro and College Football Hall of Famer entering his third season at JSU, issued a quick rebuttal on Saban's initial statements late Wednesday night. Sanders was unhappy that Saban insinuated it took $1 million to recruit a top African American prospect to play football at an HBCU.

On Thursday morning, Hunter issued a response — and denial — of his own by noting his mother’s current living situation.

Sanders, who has vowed to “address the lies told by Coach Saban soon,” noted his own salary at Jackson State.

Jackson State football coach Deion Sanders speaks to the fans prior to the Jackson State's Blue and White Spring football game, an NCAA college football contest, Sunday, April 24, 2022, in Jackson, Miss. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)
Jackson State football coach Deion Sanders speaks to the fans prior to the Jackson State's Blue and White Spring football game, an NCAA college football contest, Sunday, April 24, 2022, in Jackson, Miss. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)

According to the Clarion Ledger, Sanders signed a four-year, $1.2 million contract when he was hired in 2020. His contract has a base salary of $300,000 and also includes an array of bonuses and incentives for wins over FBS and divisional opponents, conference championships and winning the Celebration Bowl. Sanders also receives a cut of the school’s football ticket sales.

So while a more thorough response for Sanders is apparently on the way, Texas A&M coach Jimbo Fisher wasted no time going scorched earth on Saban, his former boss.

In a hastily-arranged news conference Thursday morning, Fisher called Saban a “narcissist” and said his accusations were “despicable.” He also continually implied that Saban’s programs have long violated NCAA rules. Fisher was an assistant under Saban at LSU from 2000 to 2004.

“Some people think they are God,” Fisher said of Saban. “Go dig into how God did his deal and you may find out a lot about a lot of things you don’t want to know. We build him up to be this czar of football, go dig into his past.”