The March to 85 – Star Jackson

We called this about a month ago when Star Jackson was held out of practice for a few days for "academic" reasons.   (Pictured is Star Jackson announcing his commitment to Nick Saban and Alabama).

Comments from Nick Saban regarding the situation:

"Star Jackson has done a fantastic job in our program, made a tremendous amount of improvement. We hate to see any player leave the program, but quarterback's kind of a unique position where one guy can play, and we have a lot of competition there right now. Greg's the starter coming back, AJ has done a fantastic job of improving, Phillip Sims came in at mid-semester and showed a lot of promise this spring.

"Star has made a tremendous amount of improvement and done a very, very good job. But I think sometimes when quarterbacks can't see the light at the end of the tunnel in terms of when they might be able to play, they get a little antsy and might want to go someplace else. Star and I have discussed it, and we're going to help him do what he feels is going to make him and his family the best decision for his future."


How can Nick Saban say that he hates for any player to leave the program?  He oversigns his classes by 10 players nearly every year which means that players are going to have to leave in order for Alabama to stay under the 85 player limit.  Nick, if you hate to see players leave the program then quit signing more than you have room for every year and no one will have to leave unexpectedly, or at least not as many.  This is poppy cock BS. 

If Nick Saban were running an airline company instead of a football team it would be like him saying he hates that on every flight 10 people won't be able to board because he sold more tickets than he had room for on each flight.  The difference is that in the airline business, victims of overbooking have legal rights and are compensated for their inconvenience.  The harsh reality of the situation is that no matter what, Saban has accepted 10 more LOI than he has room for and some how, some way, people have to leave or pay their own way or Alabama will be penalized by the NCAA for having too many players on scholarship.

Maybe the Star Jackson transfer is legit, but the simple fact that Saban has to shed players in order to get down to 85 makes it very, very hard for us to believe that he did all he could to talk Jackson into staying and being a part of a NC contending team and getting his degree from the University of Alabama.  We understand that guys want to play and they want to start, but why in the world would you willingly transfer from the defending NC team to go play 1AA ball?  Look at Matt Cassel the guy rode the pine at USC behind Heisman winning quarterbacks, yet he was able to get a starting quarterback gig in the NFL. 

Let's go ahead and say that the transfer is legit and Jackson truly wanted out on his own accord and that it makes perfect sense for him to go play 1AA ball instead of continuing to be coached by the best coaching staff in the country with the best facilities in the country, etc., etc.  Sometimes kids just want to transfer.  Fine.  This is where the competitive advantage aspect of oversigning comes into play.  Had Saban not been oversigned on his roster and Jackson transferred, he would be left with a scholarship shortfall and reduced depth at the quarterback position.  This is usually what happens to the rest of college football coaches that don't oversign.  They get left short-handed.  But we can only assume they do it (not oversign) because they don't have it in them (even if they are allowed to - like Mark Richt) because they are ethically opposed to the practice  or they are just not allowed to oversign because of conference rules.  Either way, it creates an uneven playing field.  There are some coaches who are sweating over every roster spot hoping and praying no one gets hurt, everyone is academically eligible, and no one leaves the program to transfer to a 1AA school, and then there are those who are trying to find loopholes and tricky ways to shed scholarship commitments because they have oversigned.

If you are new to the site, click the tag for "The March to 85" and read up.  For those of you have been around for a while, the magic number is now at 6.  There's a new Widget at the top of the sidebar for a special someone who suggested it earlier today, and below is the updated table for the March.

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

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  1. All of those great and wonderful things that you mentioned about academic improvement and building quality, character guys can be done without oversigning, but what can’t be done without oversigning is building the kind of depth you speak of, that is nearly impossible without oversigning.

    Nick Saban’s “process” is to take in more recruits than he has room for and to “nudge” those that are not as talented towards the door. The bottom line here is that Saban signed 10 too many players and one of those players could be considered all world QB recruit Sims. By oversigning and getting Sims in early, Saban got a chance to evaluate Sims over the spring, and it was then that Jackson realized he is never going to see the field. But our point is that had Saban not oversigned, there would not be this extra pressure on the roster to shed players. Look, the Jackson transfer might be legit, but Saban still has 6 more scholarships to free up.

    Exactly how is Star Jackson’s life being improved by going to a lesser school? Playing time? If he sucks as bad as you say he does with his inability to understand an offense, which could easily be an indictment on Saban’s recruiting ability, then he is not likely to make it to the NFL. Wouldn’t a degree from Alabama and the experience of being coached by Alabama for 4 years be worth more to Jackson then some playing time at a crap 1AA school where he will receive lesser coaching and a lesser degree? How is that making Star Jackson’s life better? The bottom line is that Saban has to shed players, period. The whole situation is created by oversigning. Saban should have signed 19 guys (the number he really had room for) instead of 29 – had he done that and Star Jackson still transferred, then we would have no problem with Alabama or Saban.

  2. You will always have a problem with Saban and UA and continually demonstrate that on this site. The fact I read only now for humor because as even the few supporters that have posted in your favor have stated you need to not be biased. I am not trying to argue with you because you bring nothing new to the table except assumptions. No one knows exactly what happened regarding Jackson and unless you actually talked to him you are only speculating at best. That is a fact. I also find it amusing your statement of the main page that Saban conitinually oversigns 10 players a year. I have not seen him sign 35 each year that he has been there. No you will come back with some number crunching again but I could care less. Just like when you contiue to make a big deal about players like Grant who may no longer be a part of the program but they graduated and got their degree. If Saban has a player transfer he is evil according to your site for pushing players out and not getting the education they were promised, and yes that is an arguement you made with me earlier. But when they get the degree but no longer on the team with eligibility still left you still say Saban is evil.

    The simple fact is Saban is the best and that is the popolar opinion among his peers and the NFL teams. This is a business regarding CFB and I am sorry you do not like that. Call it what you want oversigning or whatever but make no mistake CFB is a business and even your once proud conference realizes that because of their future plans to expand. Not because they do it for the good of the players but because as the Big-10 commissioner stated it means more money for the colleges from TV contracts. If you want to run with the big dogs you better do what they do. In the end I do not care if the schools are allowed to have 100 players show up in the summer for tryouts each year and then take who they want. The fact is as long as UA and the SEC continue to dominate the country in CFB the majority of the best players in the country would show up for an opportunity to play in the SEC. These players know how competitave it is not just on the field but just to keep a spot on the roster. But they are still willing to do it, but because they are not willing to do it at OSU you get upset because your program no longer matters.

    BTW if you read some of the local reports coming out of Atlanta, GA Tech is interested in the idea of rejoining the SEC if they expand and offer. And regards to elite attitude about someone going to a crap school because it is a 1AA you might want to ask UM fans about one of those crap 1AA schools that came into the big house and spnked them. That 1AA crap school was called App State. Maybe the answer would be for the Big-10 just to drop down to 1AA and than the advantages that the SEC and UA gain in oversigning would not be an issue or concern for fans like yourself.

  3. Joshua,
    Maybe some players just want to play. They play football for years in middle and high school, and they actually want to see the field playing while in college. I believe Joe Flacco was in the same boat. At Pitt, he saw that he wasnt going to get any playing time and transferred to Delaware so that he could play. It happens. And maybe Star wanted to play in a system that used his skills differently. Colin Peek left GA Tech because the new system there didnt use TE’s at all.

    Riddle me this, how is Robert Smiths life better when he wants to take medical classes but Ohio St coaches change his class schedule and put him in easy classes so he has more time to practice football? How does that help him later in life, getting that A in basket weaving?

    Also, where is the websites for all the other schools that do this? Or do you just have a hard on for Bama?

  4. Also, you list commit #’s, but not how many players actually become eligible. Saban will take risks on kids, many going to Comm colleges in hopes of getting their grades up. Some come thru, some dont, but those that do go to CC dont “force” someone to lose their scholarship. So you argument is flawed.

  5. So let me get this straight, you believe Saban is doing all of this on purpose? You are totally correct. Everything he does, he does with the intent to better his football team. Every recruit he signs has a specific purpose. Their is always attrition. Always, everywhere you go. Saban knows that. Saban also knows if he only signs the number to get him to 85 scholarship players, then he will be short come fall practice. No one saw the Mckeller medical hardship coming, but I bet Saban did. He probably knew the ins and outs of his rehab and knew the longterm prognosis way before I did, and certainly before you did. In short, why don’t you do us all a favor, and keep your uninformed opinion to yourself. Saban knows what he is doing, and neither you nor I have any idea what it is that he is doing. Leave the coaching to the coach, and the politicing to the senator.

  6. Joshua, your argument here is based on nothing but what ifs and speculation. Tre hit the nail on the head, players want to play. It’s what they have done their entire life and they have worked hard to get to the level that they are at. When a player sees that he is stuck at the bottom of the depth chart and he isn’t moving up what do you suppose that he should do? By reading your site you say he should just sit at the bottom, do the best he can for four years and then move on with his life. But the reality is that these guys are competitors and they want the chance to prove their talents and they don’t want all their hard work to go to waste so they choose to transfer to a school where they can be a star.

    As a QB all Jackson has done his whole life is lead a team and thats what he wants to continue to do so he is going to transfer to a school that will allow him that opportunity. As a football coach all Saban is paid to do is win football games. He isn’t paid to be a mentor or to develop kids mentally, that’s what teachers are paid for. You don’t believe me? When is the last time that a team kept a losing coach around just because he was a good guy and he was a good mentor? do some homework and find that one for me.

    As far as the whole oversigning thing, there are many factors that play into recruiting that you and I and most all fans don’t know that much about. A coaching staff has to not only evaluate talent at the high school level but also has to evaluate a player to see whether he is going to qualify or not. If a coach is recruiting a high caliber QB but he is on the verge of not qualifying then the coach has no choice but to recruit another kid as a backup plan. Now what happens if both kids commit and sign and the first kid ends up qualifying? Well they are gonna come to spring practice and the one with more talent is gonna beat out the backup plan and then a kid with enough talent to start for a smaller team is stuck running scout team at a bigger university. So the kid transfers and plays and everyone is happy. Thats how players think, they just want to go somewhere they can play.

  7. Wow. A lot of vitriol for a fairly innocuous update on the Alabama countdown. The stated goal of the website is to urge the NCAA to change the oversigning rules. A large number of conferences and/or individual teams or coaches already refuse to exploit the existing NCAA loophole that gives schools an opening between signing day in February and the opening of fall practice to bring in excess recruits (sometimes these excess recruits are referred to as young men or eighteen year old kids in other contexts). The site has compiled some fairly detailed charts that show Alabama as the worst offender of this loophole. The site’s owner may harbor bias against Alabama, but I would prefer to see someone refute his data rather than merely assail his motives. I appreciate the site’s effort to document Alabama’s 2010 journey from 95 promised scholarships to the 85 limit by the beginning of practice. It is one thing to assert that Saban oversigns. It is another to describe the impact (if any) of these actions. If the site prints stories contending that Bear Bryant was a drunken philanderer then we can accuse him of anti-Tide bias (assuming the stories are indeed false). If the site is merely compiling the facts related to Alabama’s current countdown to 85 we should attempt to refute the facts rather than call him names.

    Tre, you have a reasonable point about backup quarterbacks often transferring for playing time. The original article including the Saban statement make the same point. If at the end of the countdown to 85, all ten of the removed players haave potentially reasonable excuses such as this one, then that should impact the way we feel about the oversigning practice. The article goes on to mention the opposite view that many quarterback stay as backup also. Only Jackson’s family knows his true motivations. I agree with the site that Saban’s expressed regrets to see one of his players leave the program seems less than sincere since he knows as well as we do that six more players in addition to the four already on the list will have to leave the program before the beginning of fall practice.

    Mikey, you do not demonstrate that you understand the difference between annual signing limits and the 85 man roster limit that Saban and a few others routinely exceed. Perhaps, you should read the earlier posts on this site explaining the difference between the two. Amidst some rambling thoughts on Georgia Tech, App State and the Big Ten commissioner, you do have a couple of relevant points. First, Terry Grant, like Star Jackson may have had an actual reason for leaving. As I said earlier, I appreciate this site following the countdown so that we can put faces with this season’s ten excess players and judge whether or not Saban’s stretching of the rules produces any real casualties. Second, you go on to state that you don’t care if schools bring in 100 players and then cut down if that is what it takes to win. That is the crux of this whole debate. Nick Saban only brought in 95. I imagine that if he found out that you were coaching at another school and were bringing in 100, he would probably try to sign a few more to keep up.

    Blackie, you were the most entertaining by a good bit. I would forgive your many misspellings and mark them down as typos, if your fantastically twisted logic did not brand you as barely (or maybe a bit less than) competent. For example, Mike Shula ran an undisciplined, sloppy program. Nick Saban came in three years ago and began to recruit smart kids with high character and then proceeded to mold them with “The Process”. As a result unprecedentedly talented scholar athletes are graduating. A problem with this narrative is that few, if any, of Saban’s recruits have graduated (the first ones hit campus in 2007) and the shining example of all of this is a Shula recruit, Greg McElroy. I find it ironic that you decribe McElroy as a Rhodes Scholar in the midst of this discussion of Alabama oversigning. There has to be some parallel between McElroy who intends to apply for one of the two Rhodes Scholarship spots that will come out of the three-state region of Tennessee, Alabama and Florida and a high school recruit who signs a letter of intent to play football this fall for the University of Alabama. Both McElroy and the typical high school signee know that there is some reasonable chance that they will not end up with one of the final slots (2 for Rhodes – 85 for Saban). The difference is that if McElroy is unsuccessful, he is not bound by NCAA transfer rules (he could try to make an NFL team or apply to any number of prestigious graduate schools rather than sitting out or going to 1AA Georgia St).

    Finally, Blackie’s description of the quarterback situation under Shula is a good summary of the question at hand. Georgia in 2010 is in a similar situation to those Shula Alabama teams. Aaron Murray has been named the starter but they received a scare when the lone semi-experienced backup contemplated transferring. Living under the 85 man roster means that depth at certain positions can be a problem. A transfer or unexpected departure for the NFL can leave a position quite thin. In 2006, Texas was left with only redshirt freshman Colt McCoy and a hyped, but untested Jevan Snead when Vince Young unexpectedly left early for the NFL draft. When McCoy was injured late in the season (somewhat like what happened in last season’s championship game) Texas was left with only Snead and fell to Kansas St and then the next game to Texas A&M as an injured McCoy attempted to return to play. As Blackie points out, having a few extra bodies around just in case can be quite helpful, and the practice is not strictly against the rules. Why don’t all teams do it? In the 1980s and 1990s some baseball players began to hear that they could work out longer and more often if they took steroids or HGH. This also was not strictly against the rules, so like a football coach searching for more depth, certain baseball players decided it would be OK if they used these drugs. If this site continues to follow the trail of players that Alabama discards and it is determined that some of them were disadvantaged, then like steroids in baseball, the practice of oversigning should be eliminated from the college game. If it turns out that all of the discards were destined to leave anyway, then maybe Saban and the few other oversigners are just smarter than the rest of the coaches who play the season with less than 85 available players after attrition.

    • I fully understand that a school can only have 85 on the roster at any given time under scholarship. I also understand that a coach only add 25 max scholarship per incoming class unless there is room to backcount any scholarships that did not get filled the previous year. I also understand that signing a LOI does not gaurantee a scholarship if the player does not qualify or has to be placed at a JUCO or prep school and that a LOI does not grant four years at a school. Anyone can go read what it states.

      Signing a LOI is not signing scholarship papers. Those get signed later. This site seems to imply that what the player signs is the same as the 85/25 rule. It hasn’t nothing to do with it and has separate rules associated with each. All a LOI does is guarantee that if recruit qualifies the school can not pull the scholarship offer before they sign the scholarship later. Qualification involves academics and behavior(involving police). The reason for the push of LOI to schools was recruits were getting their scholarship yanked because they got injured prior to signing scholarship papers.

      This site needs to differiate the difference with signing a LOI and receiving a scholarship and it does not. The SEC has a limit of 28 players that a school can know sign to a LOI. Does the Big-10 have a limit rule in place. If the school has 3 spots availible to backcount than they can bring in all 28 players on scholarship. Another fact to understand once players sign there scholarship in the summer for the upcoming year the school can not back count into the spots. So if a school has 75 returning players on scholarship they can only give out 10 for the upcoming class technically. If any of those players transfer more spots can be opened up but they can not back count into those spots.

      As long as UA and other schools do not go over the 85/25 scholarship rule there will not be an issue. It is only a disadvantage to other schools when they can not do it. Anyone can oversign players to a LOI if they want. In the end the school can only taker a max of 25 up to 85 on the roster. Just because the owner of this site does not like Saban and UA does not make his rant relevant other than for most to find humor in it. If would actually foolow every school in the country and report every time a school has a player dismissed or transferred from the program I could see the validity of this site. But in the end he goes after the SEC, the conference that now is the best and has replaced his sacred Big-10 as a powerhouse conference. If the articles did not focus on just UA than maybe his site would not be considered biased and a joke.

      • Mikey, thanks for the on-point response. I am not as passionate as the owner of this site, but I have followed the issue and am interested in developments. Your original contention (which I objected to in my response) was that Alabama had not signed 35 in a year, so they are not guilty of oversigning by ten. I appreciate and understand your explanation of 85/25, the SEC’s 28 and backcounting. I further understand that not all signees ultimately qualify and occasionally upperclassmen fall out for various reasons.

        Your hypothetical about 75 returning players leading to a maximum of 10 new signees is the issue at hand. That is the way the most schools around the country operate. If later on, some of the 10 don’t qualify or some of the 75 transfer or are injured or are kicked off the team, the school plays the season with less than a full 85 scholarship players. This year, Nick Saban had 66 returning scholarship players and signed another 29 for a total of 95 (oversigned by 10 this season). He is exploiting a loophole in the NCAA regulations that only require the 85 scholarship limit to be in place by the beginning of fall practice. To this point four returning players have left the team. As long as at least six more either do not qualify or transfer or are kicked off the team before practice begins then all is kosher. What if there are no arrests this year? What if none of the upperclassmen flunk out of school? What if all the recruits qualify? Another poster was explaining that Saban has been weeding out the undisciplined Shula players (at least those who are not applying for the Rhodes Scholarship) and is now recruiting and signing kids with excellent character and academic credentials. I have no reason to doubt this, but it seems to me that it may less likely that enough of these new, high quality student-athletes will get thrown out of the program to allow for all the new signees. I will continue to follow this site to see how this numbers crunch will be solved.

        Finally, to reiterate a point I made somewhere else, I have read the data compiled on this site about raw recruiting numbers. It could be more complete, but it is the best I have seen and I thank the of the owner of this site for his work. These numbers point to Alabama and Nick Saban as the worst offender in the country. I will concede that the owner may seem to have an anti-Alabama bias, but I would prefer to shame him by refuting his numbers rather than just calling him a Tide-hater. Can we find other schools that have signed more players over time or can we refute his assertions of 66 returning players and 29 signees for this year’s squad. If his facts are materially wrong, then he is a crank. If his facts are correct, then it’s appropriate as college football fans that we discuss the issue and use Alabama, who not only seems to be the worst offender but is also prominent as the reigning national champion. If the practice is legit, then let’s convince the majority of teams that do not expoit the loophole that they are being pinheads. If the practice is wrong, then let’s protest to close the loophole so that the few who do profit can be stopped.

      • WRONG! A LOI is a one way agreement binding a recruit to a school. That school is in NO WAY obligated to follow through despite grades, scores, anything. Nada.

        Theoritically a school would be foolish not to honor its end but that hasn’t stopped Miles, Nutt, Saban, Petrino, others.

    • LRJ,
      This is quite possibly the most well thought out and well written post this site has ever seen. Please continue to post and be a part of the discussion, we need more rational people who don’t let their feelings get in the way of investigate the facts of oversigning.

      The truth of the matter is that it is very, very difficult to keep up with the stories and the numbers for one or two schools, much less all 60+ BCS schools.

      I wish Alabama fans, instead of taking everything so damn personal and lashing back with personal attacks, would put that energy towards investigating other schools and comparing Alabama’s numbers to the numbers at other schools. Sure would be a lot more productive.

  8. Not sure if this comment has been stated or not, but I’ll put it on here.

    Alabama is not promising 95 scholarships. The scholarships that are given are for one year, and can be renewed. It’s the same with any other type of scholarship. If I am awarded a scholarship for having an excellent GPA, and the scholarship requires me to hold a certain GPA while in school, if I go below that, do I deserve that scholarship?

    It’s the same way with athletic scholarships. There are things that are required of these kids to continue to receive these scholarships. They know what they are, and as long as they do those things, they’ll continue to get them. But just because they initially got the scholarship doesn’t mean they’ll continue to get it

    Now, I don’t think Saban has ever removed a scholarship for the reason I just listed, but if he did, I don’t think I’d be opposed. They know what they need to do to continue to receive a scholarship, and Saban knows. But the writer of this blog does not. The writer of this blog also does not know what Saban knows about the team.

    Going into signing day, Saban probably knew that McKeller was going to take a medical scholarship. I didn’t, the writer of this blog didn’t, but Saban probably did and made plans accordingly. He probably also knows quite a few other things. You don’t think that maybe Grant or Jackson had approached him a few times telling him that they were probably going to do other things than Bama football? These are things that I don’t know and writers of this blog don’t know, and I believe it’s arrogant to think you know what is going on when you don’t have the facts.

    I’m a firm believer in giving people the benefit of the doubt, and until some news comes out where Saban cold-heartedly rips away someone’s deserved scholarship, I’m going to assume that as the head coach of the program, he knows what’s going on and plans accordingly.

    • Jeff,
      I think you are being a little naive here. It is widely accepted that football scholarships, although they are technically 1-year renewable scholarships that renew automatically unless the school decides to pull it, are a 4 year agreement between the student-athlete and the school. Any coach that would public recruit players offering them only a 1-year scholarship would fail miserably.

      Furthermore, if Saban knows on signing day that there are going to be 10 guys currently on the roster that are going to leave early, with eligibility remaining, then why doesn’t he announce that prior to signing day. Why is it that we always see these guys leave during or after spring practice?

      Look around the country and you just don’t see this going on at very many places – there is not a single team in the Big 10 that needs to shed a player through having a guy not qualify, or an existing guy take a medical hardship, a transfer, or being kicked off the team in order to make sure that everyone they signed has room to make it in under the 85 limit. It’s simply just doesn’t happen, and it shouldn’t happen.

      We believe that before a LOI is offered to a player and signed that the school should have to prove where that scholarship is coming from. If Saban plans to give Recruit X a scholarship that belongs to a players that is currently on the roster but is expected to transfer or take a medical hardship, then he should have to announce it or account for it on signing day.

      As we mentioned, we would like to see all coaches have to publicly announce their roster budget prior to signing day and they should only be allowed to accept that number of signed LOI. This will force coaches to make sure they recruit guys that are going to qualify and this will eliminate the extra spring evaluation period.

      There are several coaches around the country that already operate that way and have done so for years. There is no reason why everyone can’t operate that way.

      • Again there is no reason that any school should have to except that you do not like it. There is also a common practice of grayshirting in the SEC. I guess that is wrong to according to you. That is where players who sign a LOI do not enroll until the spring of the next year. Which means they do not come on scholarship in the fall or count against either the 85/25 rule. It is perfectly legal and it benefits the player not just the school. The player gets to come in the spring and gets an extra pratice in to develop their skills and ability. It also saves a year of eligibilty for them. It is called roster management and UA fans or the school not have to apologize for it because you do not like it.

  9. A recent example of the dichotomy in philosophies:

    UGA: Logan Gray contemplates transfer after losing the starting job to Murray – Richt rallied hard for him to remain. Gray stays, and may play more WR. “I was happy that he stayed, but I was most happy for the reasons he stayed. He told me he just had so much love for Georgia, he loved his teammates and felt like we were about to win some championships and he wanted to be a part of that.”

    Bama: Star Jackson contemplates transfer after A.J. McCarron passes him on the depth chart – With Saban PR flare, “… I think sometimes when quarterbacks can’t see the light at the end of the tunnel in terms of when they might be able to play, they get a little antsy and might want to go someplace else. Star and I have discussed it, and we’re going to help him do what he feels is going to make him and his family the best decision for his future.” which, of course, was to transfer.

    It may be apples and oranges, but I found it interesting.

    • The difference here is the approach, plus CMR has greater concerns here. First Saban runs the prgrom like a business and many recruits have stated that and why they go elsewhere. The family atmosphere is not the way things are at UA and so be it. So yes the philosphy behind the two are different. Also UGA is hurting in the depth dept at QB. They are going to start freshman next year and why not keep a backup in case you need it even if you let him try another positon. Star Jackson is one of 4 QBs at UA. L Gray was 1 of 2 with another freshman coming in. So even if the philosphies were the the same the approach is based on the situation here.

      • It not a business. It’s school. It’s these kids’ futures. It’s the coaches integrity. Unless he is telling these kids (and their parents) that he only wants them until someone better comes along…if not, then he’s a liar. The kid loses a year of eligibilty, not the coach. Sure most fans don’t care. That doesn’t make it right. The reason there are so many stupid NCAA rules is because of stupid coaches and fans who don’t know what’s right and wrong anymore. Man up and have some integrity. You are supposed to be molding these kids into men.

        • I suppose “Bad” is in the living room during these discusions with parents and recruits and knows what is being “promised”. Because that is the only way you would know if he is “lying” to anyone. And what exactly is molding people into men mean? Playing someone who is not as good as the other so that they feel good and don’t want to transfer. Playing everyone so their self esteem is good. Garbage like that has made this country the cesspool of wimps we are today.

          • Agreed. People have to compete for spots, it’s how the REAL WORLD WORKS. And isn’t college supposed to prepare people for the real world? Hmm?

  10. The comments criticizing this website seem to miss all of its main arguments. I won’t comment on that now, but I will point out that the school that I graduated from, the University of Washington, always seems to have a few scholarships to give to walk-on players every year. Different philosophy than Alabama, obviously.

    • Yes, that would be winning philosophy vs mediocre philosophy.

      • From Tim’s comment below, it looks like Alabama follows the practice of giving scholarships to walk-ons as well, so does that make Alabama mediocre? As far as decribing it as a “mediocre philosophy,” it worked well for Don James when he coached at Washington. Not many describe his coaching philosophy as mediocre.
        And my thanks to Tim for pointing out that walk-ons can get scholarships at Alabama. I like that particular practice, although that raises the obvious question that is related to the basic issue on this website: if walk-ons get scholarships, doesn’t that hurt the players whose scholarships are not renewed?

  11. Alabama has a history of giving scholarships to walk on football players, and in fact gave scholarships to two walk on players just last year, Chris.

    By the way, according to the available numbers from ESPN’s website back to 2006 (the last numbers available at that site), there were at least three teams in the SEC West (Auburn, Ole Miss, Miss St.) that oversigned more players during that time period than Alabama. Alabama beat them all last year, so I guess oversigning isn’t much of an advantage, huh?

    A quick glance shows that virtually all conferences oversign to one degree or another (yes, even the Big Ten). It only makes good sense, some kids will not make the grades, some will have health issues, legal troubles, get hurt, etc. before even stepping foot on campus. The only schools who don’t oversign are the ones who either never recruit marginal academic players (very few of those schools exist thankfully, why not give someone a chance), or the ones who cheat so badly that none of the players they want is ever ineligible.

    If the schools abuse the players and run them off , then their graduation rates will catch up to them, and the school will lose scholarships, so there is already a mechanism in place to protect the players. To date, Alabama’s graduation rate has been good. Despite the hatred spewed on this website, the players are getting degrees.

  12. saban recruits have character….err are characters!!!

  13. Dude then what happens to the guys who get cut? Saban’s just hangin’ them up to dry. Messin’ the kids lives up. He has no right to do that and he is delfish for doing so.

    • So you’d rather those kids get coddled, and have no idea how the real world works? Basically enforcing an attitude of entitlement?

  14. You can add B Sims to the list did not qualify and will hopefully enroll in Jan. This was one of the 2 players I was referring to that might not get in.


  15. You are full of more crap than a Christmas goose! Are you a politician? Banker? Used car or insurance salesman? Then again you’re a comedian! You gotta be to try to make anyone believe this tripe.

    Whatever, you obviously failed elementary math at some point cause anybody with an IQ above 80 can figure out the math involved. Here’s a challenge: Take a few minutes and go over to BammOnLine.com (BOL), go to the recruiting area, do your own math on the commits v roster. Then come back here and truthfully report what you discover instead of Bammer elephant feces.

    The REAL facts are you and your fellow fans don’t give one damn about the young men in Crimson nor their families so long as the Mighty Red Elephants win. That’s the bottom line and you’ll do ANYTHING to accomplish that. Does the name Russell Means ring a bell?

    kWhat did the NCAA say about your sacred school, “Repeat serial offenders”. Saban is a Scumbag. Finis.

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