Nick Wright and Doug Gottlieb went at it Friday morning on Twitter. Two Fox Sports employees with two vastly different opinions about college sports, NIL and race relations, and their back-and-forth produced a more notable public back-and-forth between Fox Sports employees than anything we’ve seen in a while.

That sports world has been consumed by Nick Saban recently airing his grievances over the landscape of college athletics being forever altered by its name, image and likeness policy. At 70 years old, Saban seems worried about his ability to keep dominating the recruiting process, while other schools find ways of using NIL to compensate athletes.

Saban doesn’t like it, but many fans and analysts, including Fox Sports host Nick Wright, favor the rule for its ability to benefit student athletes. Wright went on a two-minute rant during his FS1 morning show First Things First, noting that for decades, college sports took advantage of its athletes, particularly Black athletes from low-income communities.

“We are a country that hates regulation and loves free markets,” Wright said. “And it is not lost on me, that the only place the general sporting public wants extra regulations and extra rules is keeping their thumb on men’s college football and basketball players.”

Men’s football and basketball programs generate billions of dollars through TV partnerships, directly contributing to the massive salaries of head coaches and school administration staff. They also fund less popular sports such as tennis, golf and fencing. Yet for decades, a nationally recognized student athlete on scholarship for the football team would get the same form of compensation as someone on the fencing team.

“There is an undeniable, incredibly uncomfortable racial context of, it is mostly young Black men, from mostly really tough circumstances, generating billions of dollars. And who’s sharing in that? An overwhelmingly white administration, an overwhelmingly white coaching staff, an overwhelmingly white non-rev sports,” Wright said.

Wright’s rant caught the attention of his colleague and Fox Sports Radio host Doug Gottlieb, who blasted the opinion as “fake racism,” prompting a heated back and forth.

“This is far and away the most ridiculous fake racism take out there,” Gottlieb wrote on Twitter. “[Four] year colleges and universities have provided educational opportunities for student athletes that have given more scholarships than any program outside of the GI Bill.”

The irony of citing the GI Bill in a tweet that attempts to deny racism is impossible to overlook. The GI Bill is widely considered to be one of the country’s worst historical racial injustices for the amount of Black veterans who were denied its benefits.

GI Bill gaffe aside, nobody is saying there isn’t at least some value in getting a college education. But amateur athletes are the fuel for building college sports into a multi-billion-dollar industry, yet prior to NIL, NCAA rules prevented them from helping their own families escape poverty.

It’s nonsensical to argue student athletes get more out of playing college sports than the schools get from not having to pay their star athletes. Sure, they were eligible to receive a $250,000 education. But that just prompts the question of why should an education cost $250,000?

About Brandon Contes

Brandon Contes is a staff writer for Awful Announcing and The Comeback. He previously helped carve the sports vertical for Mediaite and spent more than three years with Barrett Sports Media. Send tips/comments/complaints to