T he new exposure in the television markets of Texas could yield real gains on the recruiting front. This is something on the minds of SEC coaches as conference administrators approved the admission of Texas A&M to the conference. Alabama Crimson Tide coach Nick Saban thinks the added exposure could help his team and others recruit the state better.
“I think any place that you get exposure, you have an opportunity to recruit,” Alabama football coach Nick Saban said. “I think one of the reasons our league has done well is we have tremendous exposure on a national level because of our tv contract and a lot of other things that our conference and our commissioner Mike Slive has done a really good job of promoting the league.”
Expansion is another way to get exposure, according to Alabama’s coach.
”I think when you add a team to your conference that may provide additional exposure, that can add to it as well,” Saban said.
Proximity to Texas could help some more than others, but Saban said the lessons of Big Ten expansion show the move could help throughout the SEC. Saban said while at Michigan State, the admission of Penn State helped recruiting efforts in the east.
“It really helped that area become a better recruiting area for Michigan State,” Saban said.
Texas was already on Alabama’s mind in recruiting—even before expansion.
“Regardless of expansion, we already made a commitment a year ago to add another coach in Texas,” Alabama’s football coach said. “There are a lot of good football programs there. There are a lot of good football players there, and we thought we should try to do a little bit better job of recruiting over there. And the players we have gotten from Texas have been very productive in our program.
Saban deferred to administrators on the politics of conference expansion. However, Saban offered what amounts to a rebuke of the University of Texas’ leadership of the Big 12.
“I feel every conference should provide equity and fairness for its league,” Saban said. “I think if there is an inequity for the members of the league, then I think the members should have the right to do something else. I don’t know the specifics of the Big 12 and why people are leaving that conference, but that is just my opinion.”
It sounds like Saban does know why people are leaving the Big XII, and he endorses A&M’s intention to find fairness.
Saban said football coaches must adjust to the new situation facing college football–a situation where there are “four or five” larger conferences.
“This is something that we are all probably going to have to get used to as coaches,” Alabama’s Nick Saban said.