Newspapers usually reserve Sunday’s for a large expose on a topic, or interesting features that aren’t usually printed in the weekly newspapers.
Since today is Sunday – and since I am still irate about last night’s basketball game – and since Nick Saban is one day removed from these negative comments from the mother of a high school recruit who was made famous a few weeks ago…
…we thought we would run a random conversation on Saban and many of the things that come with him — over-recruiting, finding loopholes in NCAA rules and calling out sports agents.
Via the AJC, we get the awesome story of how oversigning rules are affecting Nick Saban and his notorious recruiting efforts. You see, in years past, Saban (or Houston Nutt, or a select few others in the SEC) would garner commitments from as many recruits as possible, regardless of how many scholarships were actually available. Then, when push came to shove, Saban would use any means necessary to get under the NCAA limit. He’d “grayshirt” players, stash them in jucos, and even yank the scholarship of players if need be. Now that the SEC has limited each school to signing 25 kids per class, weasels like Saban have to get creative.
Justin Taylor is a running back from North Atlanta High School that committed to Alabama in February. His commitment made him the seventh player to commit to Alabama for this recruiting class. Except Alabama doesn’t see it that way. To Saban and Alabama, Taylor is the 26th player committed, and that’s just one too many. So what do they want him to do? Sit a year. Not redshirt, not grayshirt, not go to a junior college, but literally sit. Stay home in Georgia and work a job, and then in January, they’ll have a spot for him with next year’s class. As a sign of Saban’s and Alabama’s commitment to Taylor, Saban is willing to sign “a piece of paper” to show that they’re keeping their word. Seems to me that keeping their word would be honoring the commitment and scholarship promises of the first 25 kids they recruited, not signing a worthless piece of paper. As for Alabama holding a spot for Taylor next year, this sums up my thoughts quite nicely. Nick Saban is a great football mind, and has one of, if not the most impressive college resume of the last 30 years. At the same time, however, he’s as sleazy as it gets.
Taylor’s high school coach and former NFL fullback, Stanley Pritchett then chimed in with some information in this link.
“I think it was both Justin’s injury and that Alabama has too many commitments. But Coach Saban said it was just the injury. They told me they talked to their trainers and the doctor who did the surgery and that Justin was on schedule with his rehab but he wasn’t really where he needed to be. I guess it was because he wasn’t getting every-day treatment. He goes 2-3 times per week but not every day like they do in college or the NFL. They felt like he was kind of behind on his rehab. I don’t think he’s behind on his rehab. He’s jogging and doing everything he’s supposed to be doing. The first few months after a torn ACL, you can’t take it too fast because you might re-injure it. After Alabama told me all of that stuff, I called his trainer and she thinks he is progressing well. I don’t know. Alabama told me it was because of his knee. They didn’t feel like he would be ready to come in August and compete. But I guess you could say it was both. Look at their number of commitments , and they’re still recruiting kids. You know it’s going to be about the numbers. They’re trying to say the knee but it’s really about the scholarship numbers, in my opinion … I’m disappointed. I’m disappointed with the whole process. If a kid commits and the college accepts it, then the college should honor it.”
“Coach Saban explained everything and never said anything about the scholarship numbers. Well, the only thing he did say was that the NCAA had a rule about signing 25. He didn’t like the rule or whatever, blah blah blah, and all that. He said this was because of Justin’s knee and nothing else. I asked Coach Saban about the grayshirting. I said ‘What does this mean? What do you want him to do from summer time until December?’ He said Justin would stay in Atlanta, that he would be committed to Alabama but that he could be recruited by anybody. They said he couldn’t go to Alabama yet but that he could take some classes at a community college as a part-time student while getting more rehab. I wanted to know about all of that because that will be two years out of football for Justin. I told Justin ‘If you’re good with that, then I’ll support you.’ Personally, I wouldn’t be good with that, though. I would go to a Plan B if it was me.”