March to 85 Watch List

If you have been following us over the last couple of weeks we have been documenting Alabama's attrition as Nick Saban works his oversigned roster down to the required 85 players.  Right now the magic number is 7; it started at 10 but 3 players have already left the team with eligibility remaining.  Here's the list:

2010 The March to 85 - Alabama

Player Position Reason for leaving after NSD
Terry Grant Running Back Scholarship not renewed
Travis Sikes Wide Receiver Scholarship not renewed
Rod Woodson Safety Scholarship not renewed
Star Jackson Quarterback Transfer, Georgia State Div 1AA.
Deion Belue Defensive Back Academically Ineligible; headed to JUCO
Alfy Hill Linebacker Academically Ineligible; future unknown
Taylor Pharr Offensive Lineman Medical Hardship
Milton Talbert Linebacker Medical Hardship
Darius McKeller Offensive Lineman Medical Hardship
Ronnie Carswell Wide Receiver Greyshirt
Wilson Love Defensive End Greyshirt

We're putting Robby Green (db) and Star Jackson (qb) on the watch list as candidates for the 2 of the remaining 7 bodies that need to be discarded in order to get Alabama's roster down to 85.

Update 3/31/2010: Star Jackson is back from his three day academic suspension.  It's really hard not to be cynical here, but you have to wonder if Saban is just taxing the young man, leaning on him a little bit perhaps, in hopes that Jackson decides there is not a future for him at Alabama and makes the move to transfer on his own.  It's just interesting that the kid has never had academic issues and all of the sudden during spring camp he's got issues.

Update 4/10/2010: Scratch Robby Green from the watch list, he has been ruled ineligable for 2010 for violation of NCAA rules.  He will remain on scholarship and count towards the 85.

Robby Green's status is still up in the air and Star Jackson has started missing practice because of sudden academic issues (issues that he didn't seem to have the last two years, but he is now struggling to keep his grades right - we're sure this has absolutely nothing to do with being at the bottom of the depth chart at QB, just like Terry Grant's departure had nothing to do with being at the bottom of the depth chart at running back).  A quick look at Alabama's depth chart at quarterback shows that Jackson is behind starter and National Champion QB Greg McElroy, backup AJ McCarron, and new recruit Phillip Sims, and to make matters worse for Mr. Jackson, Nick Saban has already started to recruit 5 star all-world QB Braxton Miller from Ohio and has offered him a scholarship.   

And if that isn't enough for Jackson to battle, Alabama also has another player listed at QB in Morgan Ogilvie, but Morgan, get this, is playing football for Alabama on a "Bryant Scholarship" which doesn't count towards the 85 NCAA limit.  We're going to do a separate post on this as we peel back the onion, but it appears that Alabama can have players on the team under a Bryant Scholarship that don't count against the 85 team limit.

The writing is on the wall for Star Jackson and the bottom line is that 7 players still have to leave the team in order for Alabama to stay under the 85 limit.

And for those of you who are sick and tired of us focusing on Alabama, we politely ask you to find us one other roster from another BCS conference team that has, for the last three to four years, had to lose 8-10 players every spring/summer in order to get down to the required 85 players.  You find us that program and we will put the spotlight on them, until then the king stay the king.

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  1. And the point being football coaches should keep players on the team regardless of their ability? This isn’t Tee Ball, if you have no shot at playing why should the coaches keep you around. The point you make about Bama recruiting another quarterback makes no sense, are they supposed stop recruiting quality players if that position is currently full regardless of the talent level presently on the team? Also, Robby Green is a player that Alabama was counting on in their currently depleted secondary (Saban brought in a juco corner because there is not much depth) and I doubt that Saban would be trying to “run off” an experienced and talented expected starter…

    • Whatever happen to developing players? So basically you are saying that if a coach recruits a kid and he turns out to be less than what the coach expected (because let’s face any coach will tell you they just don’t always know what to expect from these kids, some pan out some don’t, some take longer to come along and turn out to be worth the wait, some don’t) he should just toss him to the side. I don’t believe we ever said that Saban was trying to run Robby Green off…we said:

      Here’s where it gets interesting. Robby Green is not a stiff. He played in all 14 games last year for Alabama, albeit in a back-up/co-starter type roll. Regardless, he played, so it’s not like he’s dead weight. However, it should be noted that Alabama has signed 7 defensive backfield players in the last two classes (with 2 5-star studs and 4 4-star players). So it’s not like there is no one waiting in the wings.

      There are two main reasons for oversigning:

      1. To bring in better talent faster and shove lesser talent to the door.
      2. To provide a safety net in case a player you would normally like to keep does something stupid and you have to kick him off the team.

      Either way, programs that oversign are able to cushion the blow somewhat by not having to wait until the next recruiting class to fill the hole left by the player removed from the team. Instead they just plug the next guy in and the number they need to shed is reduced.

      Most programs, not facing the problem of having to shed players from a recruiting class, would be freaking out at the gaping hole in their 2-deep roster now that one of their more experienced players could be gone and they have to wait until next year to make up for the loss.

      Robby Green falls in category 2. Star Jackson on the other hand is another story.

  2. The Bryant Scholarship recipients are not allowed to play for their 1st 2 years at Alabama….if they see the field during their 3rd year they automatically count towards the 85.

    Learn the facts and stop hating, that’s all you do.

    • What you said is only partially true, which is why you should do your homework before posting on this site.

      1. Bryant Scholarship recipients are eligible and do play in their first two years, but only provided that they were not officially recruited by the football program.

      2. If a Bryant Scholarship recipient was recruited by the football program, then yes, they are required to sit out for two years, but they allowed to participate in every aspect of the football program with the exception of playing on the field. But they don’t count towards the 85 limit. So basically, they are able to get two years of training and coaching, just like scholarship players, at no cost to the number of scholarships Alabama has to work with. Other schools do not have that ability.

      King said, “If it is a ‘non-recruited’ student-athlete that receives the Bryant Scholarship, the student-athlete would not count, regardless of intercollegiate competition.”

      Note the two phrases: “would not count” and “regardless of intercollegiate competition.”

      King is saying that if the walk-on in question is judged to have been “non-recruited” by the NCAA, then he can play whenever he wants–even in the first game of his first semester–and not count against Alabama’s scholarship numbers.


      Just so you know, the Bryant Scholarship is the only of its kind in the NCAA. Other programs tried to establish the same type of scholarship program but the practice was banned by the NCAA.

      It certainly is unique.

      The late Charlie McClendon, a former Louisiana State coach who played for Bryant at Kentucky, established a similar scholarship endowment at LSU to benefit his former players.

      Such programs, however, were later banned by the NCAA, which calls them an “extra benefit” and a recruiting inducement.

      Still, the grandfathered Bryant Scholarship lives on.

      Moore calls it “one of the greatest things he ever did.”


      • You quoted Chris king’s words from a BamaMag article in 2004, but you didn’t quote the comments that were printed earlier in the article that made it clear he was speaking about any form of institutional aid, not just the Bryant Scholarship:

        [quote]Many fans mistakenly assume that precisely because the Bryant Scholarship is considered “institutional aid,” if a walk-on football player uses the Bryant Scholarship to pay his expenses–then sees action during his first two years on campus, he must count against Alabama’s scholarship numbers.

        If the athlete was considered “recruited” by the NCAA, that is correct. If not, it is not.

        King continued, “For a recruited walk-on, a student-athlete who was recruited by UA and who receives institutional financial aid granted without regard in any degree to athletics ability [b](i.e. the Bryant Scholarship)[/b], that student-athlete does not have to be counted until he engages in varsity intercollegiate competition.

        “If the student-athlete does engage in varsity intercollegiate competition, the student-athlete becomes a counter.” [/quote]

        It appears to me that “(i.e. the Bryant Scholarship),” written like that, means that King was not specifically referring to it when he said those words and the writer added that for reference. So it appears to me that he is saying any student, on any non-sport related scholarship, who was not recruited to play but decides to walk on for their own reasons, can be allowed to play at any time without counting towards the limit. What is the problem with that?

        You act like it’s a huge advantage simply because it was endowed by the football coach for the offspring of his former players. If a former Bryant player has nothing but girls they are still eligible for the Bryant Scholarship, what kind of advantage is that?

    • “The Bryant Scholarship recipients are not allowed to play for their 1st 2 years at Alabama”

      Please define exactly what you mean by “play” here, Bama. Are we talking being able to suit up and practice but not being allowed participate in a live game or not play at all? If the Bryant Scholarship recipients are allowed to practice with the team in any way, Alabama has been granted an unfair advantage IMO. There’s a reason why NCAA doesn’t allow scholarship track athletes, for example, to play on the football team without counting against the 85-man limit.

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