I talked to a few bama fans 10-15 and they all feel that if it isn't against the rules then there isn't a problem. He is coaching at the perfect place as long as he is winning people don't care. Hopefully Haha sees the light and follows dee to A2.
The Axeman, Publicized
give the guy on the left some autocannons and the resemblance is uncanny
Mainstream media have begun to catch on to the scam Nick Saban is running down in Tuscaloosa. Via everyone in the world who emailed, twittered, or IMed it to me, the Wall Street Journal on a small section of Saban's insatiable desire for more spots in his recruiting class:
"I'm still kind of bitter," said former Alabama linebacker Chuck Kirschman, who took a medical scholarship last year. Mr. Kirschman said Mr. Saban encouraged him to accept the scholarship because of a back problem that he believes he could have played through. "It's a business," Mr. Kirschman said. "College football is all about politics. And this is a loophole in the system."
The WSJ does miss an opportunity to draw a stark contrast between the rate of medical scholarships at Alabama and elsewhere in the SEC, even though they dug up the numbers. I used the LOL for good and made a graph. Here it is:
Just a coincidence, surely.
This is actually the less odious bit of Saban's merry disembowelings since the kids he cuts via this method get to stay in school on scholarship (and don't hurt the APR), but it's still a way for him to skirt competitive equity. He gets to try out four extra kids a year and then dump them. The NCAA's in a tough spot since it's tough to discern between scam artists like Saban and legitimate cases like Antonio Bass, but suffice it to say this is a dangerous precedent to set. The NCAA has to close this loophole.
Yep. Our coach is just smarter than everybody else.
People in Bama highly dislike Brian for pursuing this subject.
Keep fighting the good fight.
Yep. Just another vile Yankee attacking that godly man. Almost as bad as those latte sippin' jackasses who write for that commie Wall Street Journal.
To close this loophole is to have NCAA licensed doctors that examine the kids and give the medical scholarship OK or not.
This seems the best approach to me. Kids do get hurt playing football. I don't think schools should be punished for legitimate injuries. An independent medical review would seem to be fair to all parties, unless the NCAA chooses to be its usual tower of jello self when it comes to real compliance issues.
Seems like the difference is that 'Bama is using these scholarships for players who get injuries that limit their development and require a relatively long recovery time (the article mentions a blown ACL and a back injury, presumably a disc issue), whereas all other teams are using them for the catastrophic Antonio Bass, Dadrian Taylor type injuries, catastrophic injuries that unquestionably end the ability to play. Perhaps that is the distinction that could be helpful with an independent NCAA medical evaluation being the judge (seems a shame to get the NCAA involved in medical issues, but if one team is acquiring significant competitive advantages by skirting medical scholarship rules, don't really see what the other options are. Well, that, or soon other teams are going to start throwing out equal numbers of medical hardship scholarships and we'll be back to the days where the functional scholarship limit is 125 (5 years of 25 scholarships per).
I'm no Saban supporter, but the article says that Bama offered 12 medical schollies, and that 25 med schollies in the rest of the SEC were accepted. So, who knows how the actual comparative numbers come out. Just sayin'.
Given the circumstances, the alternative to accepting a medical scholarship seems to be mysteriously violating team rules and be off of the team and out of luck with paying for school.
I didn't mean to imply that that the numbers aren't an indictment, but merely that the ones cited are a little misleading.
but the SEC as a whole has always seemed like the sleazy mafia side of college football. Always successful, but you're never sure if it's because they're better at the game or breaking the rules. It's just been a gut feeling of mine for as long as I've been watching the game.
When Jerrah Jones comes in with a bigger Brinks truck and The Axeman and his blow-dryer are off to Dallas. The wailing out of Tuscaloosa will be audible across 5 states.
Sad that we can play with teen's futures this way
and that's a hatchetman...
decided schematic advantage
I wonder what are the chances ESPN does a story on this, like Outside the Lines. Who am I kidding, I would have a better chance with Erin Andrews.
Will if you have good luck with Erin, maybe she will convince her bosses to go with the story....
When I was at a small NAIA school we had signed a big-time JUCO recruit who couldn't get ineligible for the NCAA but could for the NAIA. I asked our HC what happened when he didn't show and he told it was an old-fashioned SEC Miracle and he was now eligible for the NCAA.
We used a medical scholarship on Antonio Bass a few years ago. It must have been because we had so many athletic, dual threat quarterbacks ahead of him on the depth chart in 08. Us Michigan fans are such hypocrites with these things, of course....
(sarcasm) (I would think that the mention of athletic, dual threat quarterbacks in 08 would have given it away, but just want to verify, for the MSU grads out there)
And IIRC, that was after 2 years of rehabbing on scholarship and he wasn't transfered to medical scholarship until the doctors had tried everything and basically said "you'll be able to walk but won't ever be able to run, cut, jump, etc"
i love that the journal - without exception, if i'm not mistaken - refers to everyone as "mr."
thanks for continuing to chase this, "mister" cook.
except for the ladies. I'm sure they don't refer to the ladies as "mr." Pretty sure, anyway...
I hope the MSM eats this story up and forces Saban to comment on it. I'd like to see what kind of bullshit lie he throws out there. Hopefully kids across this country start to see that Saban does not care about you unless you are a prime performer on his team. Who is the Pimp now Saban?
I predict several other 'bama medical scholarship recipients will come forward and praise the National Championship winning coach for his humanitarianism. Those (former) players and their families will be spending the rest of their lives in Alabama, and people down there are known to hold a grudge.
It seems like this strategy wouldn't work unless the kids themselves decided not to transfer. Does anybody know why they are taking this deal? I know doctors at USC wouldn't clear Jarvis Jones to play (a guy the coaches definitely didn't want leaving the program) and he was looking to transfer out to a school that would give him clearance to play (not sure where he ended up but he was looking at FSU and Georgia from what I remember). Why aren't more kids looking elsewhere if in fact the injuries in question aren't really career ending?
because if they aren't going pro, and they've been at the university for a bit, it is often times just easier and more convienient to stay and finish up at the school you are at.
this is so easy to fix. just tie each recruit accepting an offer to a scholarship for 4 years, regardless of the recruit playing, leaving early for the NFL, quitting football to become a male model (see Texas post Rout 66). this aligns the coaches and the players incentives. The coach wants the player to remain eligible academically. Maybe increase the number of schollies from 85 to 100 so that the net effect of the change is zero for the average program, but the programs that keep kids around have a benefit. This is beyond simple.
Problem with increasing the scholarships is that's 15 more you have to add for women's sports for Title IX consideration. Which means adding a sport. Which means this probably would never happen.
Or...you increase all sports accordingly as the 4-year scholarship deal would be applied across all of them equally.
I don't know if this is as big of a problem in the other sports to warrant the increase in scholarship numbers, especially women's teams that already have proportionally higher scholarship numbers than their male counterparts.
For non-revenue sports, there seems to be a far greater emphasis on chosing a school for academics as well as sports, and you're unlikely to face the sort of roster pressure you do in Football.
Plus, even adding 15 non-revenue sport scholarships, at a minimum, would probably be a tough economic pill to swallow for all but the top earning athletic programs throughout the country.
I think that if they force the scholarships to be 4 years, they will have to force it for all sports. You then get into the same issues with basketball, hockey, baseball, etc. where players leave for drafts early.
The problem that I see with this is that coaches like Dantonio have even more incentive to allow players back on the team after committing crimes.
Maybe just make the medical redshirt count against the scholarships and make an NCAA licensed doctor be the one to make the call.
This might help in some places, but in Alabama? I guarantee you they could find a board-certified and NCAA licensed doctor who would put Saban's needs above those of the player. It's not just an NCAA rules problem when it comes to Alabama. Remember, this is a fanbase that strongly feels there's nothing wrong with what Saban's doing -- and that includes straight-up cutting people as well as putting others on medical scholarships.
As far as making medical scholarships count against the 85 total... well, that kind of defeats the purpose of a separate medical scholarship, but I guess if there's no other way to close the loophole, that's what'll have to happen.
In the comments section of the WSJ for this article, someone was saying that he should be cut and the player should be thankful that he gets a free ride. Amazing, how the fans forget where the lines are.
Should the NCAA just make medical redshirts count against a team's scholarship total?
This doesn't even address the issue of finding convenient reasons to "excuse" a kid from the program and university all together. Maybe scholarship players who are removed from or leave the team should still count against a team's scholarship total for one or two years extra?
Eek! We'd be screwed!
No, the medical redshirts shouldn't count against a team and I generally am against non-medical bodies questioning doctor's decisions. Presumably there is a doctor involved, right? If I were the 4.0 kid that was removed, I'd probably go to the state's medical ethics board or pursue legal action.
A team like Alabama should have no problem finding excellent medical staffers to accurately evaluate its players. It should also have no problem finding lunatics that will do anything to help the program. Finding excellent doctors who are willing to stand up to ethics challenges for the team is probably difficult to do.
Dr. James Andrews
If you aren't calling injured athletes into your automatic-door closing/intimidating office and asking said injured player "what do you want to do besides playing football", you aren't trying.
Damn straight. I LIVE by that saying. Well, that and everybody wang chung tonight.
The NCAA would have stopped this immediately. But because he's competing for the title in the "nation's best conference" the NCAA is fine with looking the other way. But come an 8-4 season... "Mr. Saban, knock that off!"
I hope you are kidding. Alabama has been on probation numerous times. The recent findings at USC also go against this theory.
whats to say that if a kid on scholarship is underperforming... he wont break their knees and sign them to one of these puppies.
Slipper slope my friends.
Doug Walker, Alabama's associate athletic director for media relations also tries to pawn these "medical scholarships" off as doing the right thing for the kids. Not sure how Doug is able to hide his horns.
But compared to, you know, running a team the honest way ... not so much.
Listen, we need to not condemn Saban but praise him for protecting these obviously-injured young men from excessive practice time and the inevitable physical dangers this poses to their development both as football players as well as human beings. Only two more divine acts before there will be a new St. Nick on the block.
the medical hardship is much less offensive than just running the kid off. At least the hardships still get to keep their scholarships. The ones that just get told to go elsewhere. or pushed out due to a small brush with the law or struggling in school are the ones that are troubling as they lose their scholarships.
Cut the judgement out of the equation. X number of scholarships. Each given away for a minimum of 4 years. keep your players healthy, in school and out of jail.
I think the offensiveness of Saban's actions pretty much fits the same format as the desirability of the neutral site game in Dallas:
- Home and home vs. Alabama > Playing Alabama in Dallas >>>>>> Home games vs. the MAC
- Kicking players off the team to make room for new recruits > Putting players on medical scholarships to make room for new recruits >>>>>> Not recruiting more players than open scholarships available