Texas A&M football have had plenty of heartache for their suspiciously good recruiting record for 2022, but how guilty do they look in all of this?
Name, image and like (NIL) deals have taken college football by storm of late, with calls for such deals to be legalized for some time. However, many regret what they once wished for as the concept has since been used as a dirty method of landing talent.
Perhaps the biggest CFB program widely speculated to commit such an act is Texas A&M football, and when you compare the Aggies’ untouchable recruitment wave in 2022 to those before it, it’s pretty easy to see why.
The Aggies have held up well as one of the top recruiters in the country, cementing themselves as a consistent top-10 force in the annual team rankings. But nonetheless, they’ve never come close to doing what this current off-season has done for them.
To put things simply, a two or three 5-star Recruitment Class would normally be considered near perfect by A&M standards. But guess how many 5-stars 2022 – the first offseason for legal NIL deals to catch on – has given them? Eight.
Not only is it the biggest recruiting success the Aggies have ever seen, it’s also the biggest the entire college football world has seen. This despite the fact that their brand is clearly not big enough to get this loot by chance.
Let’s face it: Does Texas A&M Football have the largest college football brand in its state? No, the Longhorns do. Does it have the largest brand in the SEC? No, and any chance of it achieving that title is far from now. Does it even have the biggest brand in its segment? Not even close.
But while the Aggies may not historically have as dominant a brand as some of those known to them, they certainly do have a profitable brand.
How Profitable is Texas A&M Football?
According to 247 Sports, A&M ranks 12th on the list of most profitable CFB programs overall, while ranking first with Texas in terms of estimated annual value (as of December 2021).
This is definitely believable given the football-mad state the school is in and how successful it has been consistently filling Kyle Field – a stadium that seats over 100,000 people.
In other words, Texas A&M doesn’t have the branding to earn the best recruit rating ever, but it certainly has the cash to do so Buy it. And while it all looks pretty dodgy, the desperate reaction that came from Aggies’ head coach Jimbo Fisher the other day really put the icing on the cake.
When Alabama head coach Nick Saban called A&M about their unnatural talent boost, Fisher used his moment to respond in the worst possible way. He did this by spending less time actually denying the statement, rather than baselessly claiming that Saban had a sordid past, while pretending that his allegation was in some way critical of the athletes.
If you are ever accused of doing something frowned upon, be sure to defend yourself rather than insult your accuser. If you don’t, you will basically say, “Well, he did bad things too,” and that could very easily be interpreted as an indication of guilt. Fisher didn’t think of that, and so he fooled practically no one with his singing and dancing.
There is nothing concrete to prove Texas A&M football guilty of abusing NIL legalization, so we can only leave the context provided. And when you do just that, it does search how the program pays for a fair share of its recruits? Absolutely.