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|