Alabama coach Nick Saban made waves last week when he claimed that sophomore quarterback Bryce Young, the presumptive starter under center for the 2021 Crimson Tide, has beefed up his bank account quite a bit since the NCAA and multiple states began allowing players to earn money off of their name, image and likeness earlier this month.
"Our QB has already approached ungodly numbers, and he hasn't even played yet," Saban said at a meeting with high school coaches in Texas. "If I told you what it is … it's almost 7-figures."
Obviously, that dollar figured raised quite a few eyebrows around the country since Young took mostly mop-up snaps behind Heisman Trophy finalist Mac Jones last year. Stanford coach David Shaw was clearly one of those associated with college football who was stunned. During his appearance at Pac-12 Media Day on Tuesday, Shaw addressed what Young's financial success means for college football.
"To me, I don't think that's what this whole thing is supposed to be about," Shaw said. "I don't believe that is true market value. I think that's Alabama value, But that's not market value for an individual, which is supposed to be what this is about."
Shaw also suggested that Saban might have planted that seed the day before he made the rounds at SEC media days on purpose.
"My gut reaction is on multiple levels," Shaw said. "First of all, Nick Saban is smarter than any 10 of us in this room combined. There's no way that was a throw-in. It's obvious to me that Nick wanted to plant that and make sure people knew that. It's a great way to recruit people to come to you, which the guy hasn't started a college football game and he's already signed a whole bunch of deals to make money."
In this new age, Shaw knows that it's all about recruiting.
"Nick mentioning that at the media day is a great way to kick-start your recruiting, especially if you're recruiting another high-caliber quarterback, as we all know that they are."
Shaw didn't seem to mind the fact that new name, image and likeness legislation would open doors for student-athletes last fall when he commented on the matter.
"It sounds American," Shaw said on Oct. 7, 2020, according to 247Sports. "I have a name, I have an image and I have a likeness, and I should be able to monetize it."
Whether it's "Alabama value or "fair market value," it's clear that players in high-profile positions on high-profile teams are going to cash in much more than less-visible players on teams that aren't as successful on a national level. Young will likely be one of those players starting Sept. 4, when Alabama takes on Miami (FL) in the Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game in Atlanta.