SEC reprimands Nick Saban and Jimbo Fisher of verbal spat
SEC Commissioner Greg Sankey has had to jump in the middle of a heated verbal jab session between Alabama head football coach Nick Saban and Texas A&M head football coach Jimbo Fisher.
Fisher exploded on Thursday morning with critical words after learning that Saban implied his school cheated to gain the top-ranked recruiting class in the country.
Sankey issued verbal reprimands for both Saban and Fisher on Thursday afternoon from the league office.
“The membership of the Southeastern Conference has established expectations for conduct and sportsmanship that were not met last night nor today,” said Sankey. “A hallmark of the SEC is intense competition within an environment of collaboration. Public criticism of any kind does not resolve issues and creates a distraction from seeking solutions for the issues facing college athletics today. There is tremendous frustration concerning the absence of consistent rules from state to state related to name, image and likeness. We need to work together to find solutions and that will be our focus at the upcoming SEC Spring Meetings.”
Sankey says both high-profile coaches public comments violated SEC bylaws and deserve the public handslapping.
The SEC cited the following bylaws as having been violated by the feuding coaches:
SEC Bylaw 10.2.3 states “Coaches and other member personnel shall advocate the positive advantages and attributes of their university and its intercollegiate athletics program and shall avoid making any derogatory statements concerning another member institution’s athletics program, facilities or educational opportunities.”
SEC Bylaw 10.5.2 states “Coaches and administrators shall refrain from public criticism of other member institutions, their staffs or players. Coaches and administrators shall also refrain from making public statements and accusations with regard to infractions concerning member institutions and their personnel. In response to questions by the media, it is appropriate to state that infractions are reported, investigated and addressed in accordance with established Conference and NCAA procedures.”