Alabama had 12 scholarship players leave the team (8 to graduation, 3 juniors to the NFL, and 1 transfer prior to signing day) last year; Alabama also signed 23 new players (22 on signing day and now Duron Carter) and had 2 players greyshirt last year that now count towards this class; this puts them at 25 new players this year. On NSD, Nick Saban told the media that they signed what they could, implying they had room for 22 + 2 GS, and that they could add another player later because there were candidates for medical hardships or redshirt guys that have graduated that could be replaced. To date there have been no announcements regarding any departures, but there have been plenty of names floated around as possible candidates.
As we mentioned a month ago, the numbers just don't jive. If you have 12 scholarship players leave but add 25 new scholarship players, the only way you have room for them all is if you finished the previous season with 72 scholarship players. 72 - 12=60, 60 + 25=85.
Does anyone believe that Alabama had only 72 scholarship players last year? If that was the case, then why the 2 greyshirts last year because there wasn't room -- if you are at 72 scholarship players why in the world would you greyshirt 2? The only viable reason would be the 25 limit, but Alabama had a handful of guys last year that enrolled early and counted toward the previous year, so there should have been room. Furthermore, Alabama had a bunch of attrition last year -- we examined their roster prior to signing day and projected the number of guys they needed to lose in order to get to 85 and that was the exact number of guys they lost during the spring and summer -- so if they weren't making roster cuts to get to 85 there should have been room for the two that greyshirted last year.
We are being a little coy here, we know they didn't have 72 guys on scholarship to end the season last year. The reality is that they are over right now, and the medical hardship, transfers and non-renewals should start to emerge soon.
With spring practice in full swing, shouldn't anyone that is injured to the point that they can no longer participate already be on medical hardship? Maybe there are guys that are not participating in practice right now, not sure.
All of these questions could be answered if Alabama didn't withhold their scholarship numbers information from the media, something no school should be doing. Cecil Hurt with the Tuscaloosa News is working on this and has filed Freedom of Information requests in an effort to get scholarship numbers from the University, which is bizarre when you consider Alabama is one of the few programs around the country that runs a web cam on national signing day so that everyone can see the signed letters of intent as they come in; each time one comes in the school posts the name of the player on the fax machine so everyone can see it. Why would you go out of your way to broadcast that information yet withhold scholarship numbers from the media when asked for them?
@TheMarchTo85 I promise we are using every FOI avenue available.
We have asked Cecil Hurt to simply ask Saban if they have room for everyone right now and from this point forward if anyone leaves will it result in Alabama starting the season under the 85 limit. Those are questions that A.) should be asked, and B.) Saban should be able to answer. To his credit, Hurt acknowledged our request and stated that he would follow up with Saban this week and ask questions.