This is somewhat old news, but Marquavius Burnett at The Crimson and White just wrote a nice article about the situation at Alabama regarding their refusal to disclose scholarship numbers, including an image of the document where Alabama blacks out the scholarship numbers in their annual report. Alabama officials are saying that federal privacy laws prevent them from disclosing the number of scholarships, but law experts disagree and question why the schools that do release this information are not in violation of the federal privacy laws.
From the article:
Deborah Lane, and assistant vice president for University Relations, said in an emailed statement that privacy laws prohibit them from disclosing scholarship numbers because they can be used by a reasonable person to find out personal information about individual students.
But law experts disagree.
“This information is not confidential,” said Frank LoMonte, the executive director of the Student Press Law Center. “In fact, Alabama routinely announces the names of star athletes it has signed to scholarships…. Other schools are comfortable releasing the numbers. There is no practical way that you could match up the number of scholarships with particular athletes and, even if you could, it would not compromise any private information.”
It is really unclear as to why these numbers are being hidden. Cecil Hurt at the Tuscaloosa News has filed a Freedom of Information Act request in order to try and obtain the official scholarship numbers, hopefully he will hear something soon so we can get this all cleared up.
The irony in all of this is that Alabama goes out of its way to have a fax cam streaming video of the recruits names as their faxed LOI to receive a scholarship comes in on national signing day.
The article goes on to cite the Wall Street Journal article on Alabama's oversigning:
The entire SEC, especially Alabama, has been under fire recently for oversigning in football. Under NCAA rules, it is legal to sign more players to scholarships than the limit of 85 as long as teams are not over that limit by July 31. However, The Wall Street Journal reported in September of 2010 that former Alabama players said the school tried to gain a competitive edge by encouraging underperforming players to quit the team, allowing the Tide to not exceed the limit of 85 scholarships per season.
Because the deadline to get down to 85 football scholarships is July 31, when 2010 expense reports were filed, it would not have been a violation to be over the limit of 85. In fact, LSU and Mississippi’s 2010 athletic expense reports show the schools had 91 and 89 scholarships, respectively, allotted to football when the reports were filed.