OT: Alabama assistant allegedly advised recruit to transfer HS to get "eligible"

Submitted by Leaders And Best on August 8th, 2012 at 10:53 AM

Alabama assistant Jeremy Pruitt allegedly pushed one of Alabama's 2013 recruits to transfer from Pensacola, FL to Foley HS in Alabama because they "could take care of him academically." The recruit actually transferred to Foley yesterday for his senior year right after fall football camp started. Pruitt worked together with Foley HS head coach Todd Watson at Hoover HS in the 2000s. In order for him to be eligible to play football this year, his entire family had to move to Foley (Alabama) school district from Florida.  I'm sure this is all on the up and up.

http://www.pnj.com/article/20120807/SPORTS/308070030/Foley-bound

I think we are going to end up seeing a lot more of this in the future with the looming changes in the NCAA eligibility requirements in 2016.  If you haven't heard about these changes, this ESPN article breaks it down pretty well:

http://espn.go.com/college-sports/story/_/id/8236949/ncaa-increases-minimum-eligibility-standards-division-student-athletes

Some schools or handlers are going to start pushing borderline recruits to transfer earlier in HS to feeder high schools to get them eligible through shady grades.

Comments

RollTide

August 8th, 2012 at 2:06 PM ^

I was googling this story and came across this website.  I always wondered why ever team and fan is so concerend with SEC recruiting.  It just always seams that the teams who play the best are always the ones who are the cheeters.  Good luck on Sept 1st!

Michigan_Mike

August 8th, 2012 at 11:06 AM ^

I really wish the NCAA would come down on the SEC. It's pretty obvious at this point that there is a lot of shady business going on down there and they just ignore it. Ohio and USC both got hit for stuff that is relatively minor compared to what Alabama and Auburn are doing. While schools from other conferences are lossing scholarships and postseason play the SEC is winning MNCs and oversigning like there's no tomorrow.

jmdblue

August 8th, 2012 at 11:30 AM ^

Providing a player's family with a house isn't exactly minor, but your point is taken. 

It seems the NCAA is willing to overlook a semi-public auction for Cam Newton, massive oversigning and questionable elimination of players to open up still more scholarships, and now transfer of entire families to get kids fake grades....about to get questionably political here.....Pretty soon they'll be shopping for high schools like Rush shopped for pain med docs.

NateVolk

August 8th, 2012 at 12:07 PM ^

If you are referring to Reggie Bush, USC didn't provide him a house and was never accused of doing so. The program was found guilty of not being aware of the private financial dealings  with an agent of a very high profile player.  It was a groundbreaking ruling. So far it doesn't appear that it is serving as precedent given the relatively light penalties Ohio got for allowing Terrel Pryor to run free and take overpayments from boosters for his signature, awards, and used equipment.

The NCAA doing what the NCAA does: pick and choose who gets nailed and who doesn't using arbitrary standards.

jmdblue

August 8th, 2012 at 4:40 PM ^

Rereading my post I see I did accuse USC of providing the house and I strand corrected.  It is my understanding, though, that an assistant coach was fully aware of the arrangement.  To me the really offensive part of the story is Pete Carroll's squawking about everyone being punished for the misdemeanors of 1 player.  It's my guess that those USC teams were as dirty as the Miami and Oklahoma teams of teh 80s were.

MechEng97

August 8th, 2012 at 3:31 PM ^

I have a good friend who went to Auburn and is from Alabama.  He even complains about how Alabama gets away with all of this...every one down there is in it together.  Seems to be working as most of the latest schools on probation are BIG (Us, OSU, and the PSU disaster)...if everyone is with you, it makes it easy.

His Dudeness

August 8th, 2012 at 11:07 AM ^

Won't someone please think of the children and their brains!?!? Oh wait, concussions and what not. Ah well, just win baby... and uhhh... don't pay them. Seems legit.

His Dudeness

August 8th, 2012 at 11:26 AM ^

For the record - I am not you. I like you though. You're alright with me. What do you think about LTTs knee bend? I mean do you think he has more or less knee bend than is needed to become academic all conference? I mean I am just a lowly middle school gym teacher, but i think he has the foot quickness to get mostly Bs with a few Cs mixed in for good measure, but what do I know? That's why I am asking you. Can you tell me things that you just thought of about things you know very little about? PLEASE??!

 

Looking good too, buddy. Not fat at all from what I can see.

His Dudeness

August 8th, 2012 at 11:45 AM ^

Me and you have a lot in common. I mean, we both have our passions in life. I teach high school physics and am very passionate about it. I write Stephen Hawking probably like 5 to 10 times a day to tell him about my sweet ideas. If you haven't already you should probably write a blog about our football recruits I mean because you know so much about football recruits. Kind of like me and physics. That would be really cool.

Space Coyote

August 8th, 2012 at 12:35 PM ^

"God damn you Walter! You fuckin' asshole! Everything's a fuckin' travesty with you, man! And what was all that shit about Vietnam? What the FUCK, has anything got to do with Vietnam? What the fuck are you talking about?"

Yeah, that sounds a bit like something someone would say about you
 

mGrowOld

August 8th, 2012 at 11:18 AM ^

Doesnt just happen in the SEC.  In 1999 (I think) the much heralded QB Justin Zwick's entire family moved from Massilon to Canton so young Justin could play QB for the NorthEast Ohio HS football factory Canton McKinley instead of a mediocre Massilon squad.  Justin's dad was "lucky" enough to get a job with the city of Canton (for two years) which made the move possible.  And following Justin's matriculation from McKinley he attended the Ohio State University where he failed miserably to live up to expectations.

Leaders And Best

August 8th, 2012 at 11:30 AM ^

Zwick transferred to Massilon Washington as a sophomore for to play for a better football program.  He may have been recruited by Massilon HS which is kind of shady, but I don't blame a student and his family for transferring HS to get a better HS experience.if it is on the up and up.  Kids transfer HS all the time for academic or athletic reasons.  The Wangler kids are transferring from Royal Oak Shrine Catholic to Warren De La Salle primarily to play in better football competition.

But when a college coach steers a recruit to another feeder high school (in a different state) to get taken care of academically (i.e. shady grades), you are talking a whole different ballgame.

zachjand

August 8th, 2012 at 11:44 AM ^

His dad did get a job in the Athletic Department conveniently so he could transfer without having to sit out a year.  Also, Massillon is a school that was notorious for recruiting players from other schools and other shady activities. 

You are right that this situation is at a much different level than transferring to a different local school district. 

dayooper63

August 8th, 2012 at 11:46 AM ^

Was Justin Zwick not going to make grades?  The implication that this article is stating isn't that they would keep in a feeder school, it's that the feeder school will keep him eligible and make sure he has the grades to go to Alabama.  That would indicate academic fraud.  A school bringing in players has always happened.  De La Salle is bringing in John Wanglers kid for his Senior year.  The bringing in of academically borderline players to keep them eligible to go to their connected university is much different.  Sick of it.

BlueAggie

August 8th, 2012 at 11:25 AM ^

I'm pretty sure LSU did this with Craig Loston a couple of years ago. In his case it was done to avoid the Texas standardized test required to graduate. I suspect a similar dynamic may be at work here.

treyanastasio

August 8th, 2012 at 12:17 PM ^

Hes going to a school that is better academiclly that will allow him to take extra classes to make up for previous bad grades. The orignal school wouldnt let him do that. The coach is just mad he's losing his best players. His teammate, 3 star Dejon Funderburk also transferred to have a better shot at being eligible next fall.