Is Texas A&M Illicitly Recruiting Players?

Samanyu Ram

August 5, 2022

The Texas A&M Aggies, the university’s football team, are a part of the Southeastern Conference, the SEC, and are mostly known for the school's greatly admired football program. Every football fan in Texas knows football is a part of their everyday lives, whether it be pro, college, high school, or even pee wee football, and the Aggies are an embodiment of this lifestyle. They eat, sleep, and breathe football.

The SEC is known for being the toughest conference in college football, as they hold a record with their 26 National Championships. The Aggies have 3 National Championships and 17 SEC Championships against teams including Alabama, Georgia, LSU, Clemson, etc. It is safe to say that A&M needs the top recruits in high school football in order for them to compete at such a high level. This year, Texas A&M is ranked number one in college football history for its recruiting class, passing Alabama’s 2021 class, with 333.13 points. They have currently earned 8 five-star recruits, 20 four-star recruits, and 2 three-star recruits. These numbers are unheard of, as there are 32 five-star recruits in total. This means that the Aggies have obtained 25% of all the five-star recruits in the USA. As a result of these numbers being so unheard of, suspicion is arising. Many fans, coaches, and players are accusing the Texas A&M boosters of directly paying players to come to play for the Aggies. This is now not permissible per the NCAA’s new rules.

The University of Alabama’s head coach, Nick Saban, has had a lot to say about Texas A&M, “We were second in recruiting last year, A&M was first, A&M bought every player on their team. Made a deal for name, image, and likeness. We didn’t buy one player. I don’t know if we’re going to be able to sustain that in the future because more and more people are doing it.” Coming from Nick Saban, possibly the greatest college football coach of all time, says a lot about A&M’s recruiting system. Jimbo Fisher, the Aggies head coach, snaps back by saying “We build him up to be the tsar of football. Go dig into his past… it’s despicable.” Another incident took place on June 30th of this year where an Aggies recruiter said to a group of recruits, “Y’all getting a lot of money from the people behind these suites if you decide to come play here.” Was this just a recruitment trick to get players to commit, or was this what really goes on behind the scenes?

There is no doubt in my mind that the Texas A&M Aggies will be an SEC Championship contender next season with their powerful offense and their fierce defense. Alongside the rest of the college football community, I have great expectations for this one-of-a-kind, extremely talented roster. I am all for seeing the best team win it all, but the problem arises when we ask, how did they achieve such a great team? How did a team that finished with a record of 8-4, recruit so many top athletes? To conclude, a big question must be asked: Is Texas A&M Illicitly Recruiting Players?