Alabama football coach Nick Saban seems very aware of the fact that major college football is a lot more than just a game.
The Crimson Tide is one of the crown jewels of the sport, and they operate like a borderline pro team in terms of coaching facilities and the fan base exceeds the NFL by about a mile. It’s not lost on their legendary leader. (RELATED: Tua Tagovailoa Says He Hasn’t ‘Had Any Talks’ About Going To The NFL)
Saban said the following at the SEC Spring Meetings Tuesday, according to DawgNation.com:
I think there’s a fine line between protecting the integrity of college football and understanding that, I don’t think as big as it’s gotten, that any of us can deny the fact we’re in the entertainment business to some degree. So finding a balance between those two things is difficult.
I’m as pure as they come when the topic at hand is college football, but you’re fooling yourself if you don’t think the sport is partly in the entertainment business.
Look no further than a stadium in the SEC or Big 10 during the fall if you need proof of that fact. Hundreds of thousands of people are roaming the streets, beer is flowing, TV ratings are through the roof, and there’s ample money to be made.
Yes, it’s amateurism on the field. Off the field, it’s a business, and business is booming. I’m not really sure if there’s any slowing down that trend, and I wouldn’t even do it if I could.
We need to have a talk about potential player compensation, but let’s not pretend like college football doesn’t work. It’s insanely popular for a reason.
Go to an NFL game and then go to an SEC game between two powerhouses. It’ll become obvious immediately which game has the more intense and passionate fans.
View this post on Instagram
Football dominates the daily conversation in large chunks of this country. There’s nothing wrong with that. There’s nothing wrong with it at all, but it’s another sign of how it’s a lot more than a simple sport.
It’s a lifestyle and millions upon millions of people are living it. It should be interesting to see how much more popular the sport gets over time.
Trust me. The momentum isn’t slowing down at all.