Travis Hunter, the nation’s No. 1 football recruit, has not been enriched since making his historic commitment to Jackson State.
The true freshman responded on social media Thursday to allegations by Alabama head coach Nick Saban that he was offered a million-dollar NIL deal to sign with the JSU program.
“I got A mil? But my mom still stay in a 3 bed room house with five kids,” Hunter wrote on Twitter.
Saban, whose program routinely is able to attract America’s most sought-after amateur football players, has criticized a NIL system that is unregulated and presents opportunities for schools to unfairly leverage lucrative agreements to entice athletes.
“Jackson State paid a guy $1 million last year who was a really good Division I player to come to their school,” said Saban. “It was in the paper, and they bragged about it. No one did anything about it.
Also read: Nick Saban accuses Jackson State of paying Travis Hunter $1 million NIL deal
JSU head coach Deion Sanders has repeatedly denied that Jackson State offered Hunter a NIL deal to sign — saying that Saban had lied about what transpired.
Saban was just the latest in a growing number of college sports stakeholders who have questioned how a player as talented as Hunter would choose an HBCU over a traditional FBS power.
In December, Florida state Rep. Chip LaMarca filed a bill to alter the state’s name, image and likeness law to give area schools more freedom to negotiate NIL deals for athletes.
The bill, ironically, was filed hours after Jackson State landed Hunter.
“What’s ironic, I’m both a Florida State and a Deion fan,” LaMarca said at the time. “What is the reason to go from a program that was in the top-5 for 12 years straight with three national titles to a small HBCU in Mississippi?
“I’m assuming there is something in the works,” he said at the time. “There had to be some reason, or maybe he’s just a highly sought-after recruit and Deion is good at his job.”
To date, the only NIL deal Hunter has officially inked is with J5 Caffe, a Black-owned coffee company based in Mississippi.