Fisher called a news conference the next day in College Station, Texas, and responded by calling Saban a “despicable ... narcissist,” challenging media to look into the Alabama coach’s rules compliance.
“Some people think they’re God; go dig into how God did his deal, you may find out about a guy, a lot of things you don’t want to know,” Fisher said in his May 19 response. “Certain people never followed the rules anyway.”
Alabama athletic director Greg Byrne was asked Wednesday to address Fisher’s comments and compliance charges from May 19.
“I think coach Fisher was fired up, and I think he has worked with coach Saban and has benefited from working with coach Saban like a lot of coaches have,” Byrne said. “And so I know we feel very good about our compliance and what we do at Alabama, and that’s been in the past, and that’s going to continue in the future.”
The Aggies and Crimson Tide will continue their football rivalry in Tuscaloosa on Oct. 8, with Saban and Alabama looking to avenge their 41-38 loss to Texas A&M last season.
Saban had won 24 consecutive games against former assistants before losing to Fisher last season.
Fisher was Saban’s offensive coordinator at LSU from 2000-04, and even then, Georgia coach Kirby Smart suggested Tuesday there were exchanges in staff meetings and on headsets that made the coaches’ recent public exchange (May 18 and May 19) seem “Mickey Mouse” by comparison.
“We were good. I was on offense. We had a great relationship, we had a lot of success, did well, and there weren’t that many issues at all, normal staff issues,” Fisher said.
“Do you ever argue with your brother? Do you love your brother? Did you support your brother? That’s the way coaches are. You can’t get to where you’re trying to go as a staff if you don’t have disagreements.
“If everybody is ‘yes’ people and everybody says the same thing, you don’t ever get anywhere. You can’t get better; that’s part of our nature and our competitive nature.”
Fisher, as fate would have it, was the chairman for the coaches’ meeting the past two days and said it was an engaging talk, with Fisher and Saban having a brief exchange at the onset.
“We spoke in the beginning and what he accused us of, but it’s over with. We’re done talking about it, and we’re moving on to the future and trying to fix the problems that we have in college football,” Fisher said. “There are a lot more pressing needs than our argument.”
Of the meetings, Fisher said, “we had a lot of great dialogue. I don’t know if we had any solutions, but I think we had a lot of great ideas.”
The issues being discussed this week involve the application of NIL dealings for athletes, different scheduling models and the intraconference transfer window.
The league’s football and basketball coaches wrapped up their meetings in Destin on Wednesday.
The SEC athletic directors and presidents will continue to meet through Friday, when they may or may not vote on a new schedule model and the intraconference transfer window.
Commissioner Greg Sankey indicated Tuesday evening that an SEC-only playoff concept has been tabled for now.