Semi-OT: Saban Oversigning Tactics Come Back To Bite Him

Submitted by DamnYankee on February 3rd, 2012 at 7:51 AM

I checked and didn't see this posted anywhere.  Saban asks this kid to greyshirt at the 11th hour and he then flips to Arkansas........ Here's the Money quote:

"He had the world snatched from up under him," Stevenson told the Press-Register of Philon. "I'm pretty sure he's wondering, 'Why me?' On a number of occasions, [Alabama] stated how much they don't want to lose him. They got put in a bind. I can see where it could happen, especially with this being the first year of the SEC putting in a stipulation like this."…



February 3rd, 2012 at 7:57 AM ^

Yeah, I'm not sure if that is what I would call "Coming back to bite him".  Its not like he lost a player he had scholarship room for.

Plus he still coaches a team that merely has to do what they are supposed to play for a national championship.

True Blue Grit

February 3rd, 2012 at 7:59 AM ^

so he could decide whether to still go there.  But it's still a shitty thing to do since the kid has been planning to go there for months and was probaby excited about playing at Alabama.  I'm glad we don't stoop to that level at Michigan.


February 3rd, 2012 at 8:31 AM ^

That is the difference between a coach like Hoke and a coach like Saban: Brady Hoke wouldn't ever breach ethics like that, where it is SOP for Saban.  Sadly, though, it never really "comes back to bite Saban on the ass," because he is very persuasive, and no kid ever believes that he is going to be one of those who doesn't make the NSD cut.

Until there are consequences for that kind of behavior, the amoral Saban will continue on his current course of action.  He certainly has been allowed to succeed doing it his way.  Expecting him to stop now would be like putting a scorpion on your hand and expecting it not to sting.  It is Saban's nature, and he probably doesn't think he is doing anything wrong.   

death by wolverine

February 3rd, 2012 at 8:05 AM ^

At least one kid realizes what Saban is doing. These might lead to more kids doing this in the future. If you want a good laugh and have twitter, follow @theMarchto85. They have been arguing with Tom Luginbill about oversigning.


February 3rd, 2012 at 8:10 AM ^

Not sure how i feel about this candidly.  On one hand i feel bad for the kid who is obviously miserable as hell in that picture. His world just got turned upside down.

On the other hand what's Saban suppose to do anyways?  Unfortunately verbal committments from 17 year olds are worth the paper they are written on (we of all schools know that all too well) so you can't stop offering kids once you get your max number of verbal committments.  You have to "overbook" so to speak because as a coach you're going to get no-show's.  It's an unfortunate fact of life.  What if every kid WE offered said yes?  We'd be in the exact same boat Saban is in - no different.

I guess I kinda think what Saban did, unlike Miles, is not all that bad.  At least he told the kid BEFORE he signed the LOI so he had choices.  Maybe not the choice he originally wanted but he wasn't locked into Alabama so he could go elsewhere.  I'm no Saban fan by any means but in this case I don't think he did anything wrong.


February 3rd, 2012 at 9:01 AM ^

I kinda see what you're getting at, but I think Saban took a committment from another, higher ranked, D-lineman on signing day.  If Saban wanted in on that kid, he shouldn't have allowed this kid to commit.  This kid was his 7th verbal.  He'd been committed to Alabama for months.  Then, when this higher ranked kid comes along, Saban dumps this one.  

It's got to be a tricky balancing act, but we've seen Hoke do it pretty well.  

Saban is more cut-throat and a DB for it.  


February 3rd, 2012 at 9:28 AM ^

I know it's terribly unfashionable on the board to defend Saban and TRUST ME I'm no fan but let's be consistent in our criticism.  According to the thread three down from this one on in-state recruiting we've offered 65 kids for the class of 2013.  What if they all said "yes"?  Hoke would be in the exact same spot Saban was in and I'd hope he'd act the same as well (tell the kid BEFORE the LOI was signed).

Saban is a total toolbox, a-hole and DB.  No question about it.  I wouldn't want to have a beer with him....wouldn't want him for a neighbor and cannot stand his football team.  I'll be in Dallas in  8 months yelling like hell all those things i'm sure.  But in this case I don't see where he did anything wrong.  


February 3rd, 2012 at 9:56 AM ^

Agree with your take on Saban.  I don't pretend to understand the process, but I believe there's a thing such as a "non-committable" offer.   I think these are used for guys that a coach is interested in, but they're a Plan B or Plan C guy.  If Plan A signs elsewhere, then your offer becomes committable.  Like I said, I'm not sure.  I think that's how it works, though.

In my mind, this is where Saban's really screwing kids over.  He had this kid committed for months, then let him twist in the breeze=DOUCHEBAGGERY.  

Mr Miggle

February 3rd, 2012 at 11:44 AM ^

Do you really think that every recruit we offer thinks they have until signing day to make up their mind? The coaches stay in contact with them and let them know how many players they are looking for at their position. They know that when their position or the class fills up their offer likely gets pulled.

That really has nothing to do with pulling the offer from a kid after you've already accepted his commitment. One is SOP every year at every school. The other is what gets people upset. With the new SEC rules on oversigning, Saban waited until the last possible moment to screw this kid over. He's not breaking any rules, since there don't seem to be any against lying to recruits.

Wolverine 73

February 3rd, 2012 at 9:33 AM ^

If Saban upgraded by taking another DL on signing day and asking this kid to greyshirt, then he screwed the kid.  Look at the way Hoke did things.  We were recruiting WRs, and when we got two committed, we stopped recruiting them.  If Saban had the DL he wanted, stop recruiting other guys. If he didn't think the guy he had was good enough, give him the proverbial "non committable offer" so the kid knows he isn't Saban's first choice but he might be interested.  Or look at how Norfleet was handled--he wasn't offered when we were chasing Dunn, but when it became clear we were not getting Dunn and a couple other guys fell through, then he got the offer.  There are ways to do it that are fair to the kids.

Six Zero

February 3rd, 2012 at 8:34 AM ^

Did you guys watch that video??  Talk about not being comfortable with a decision?  I'm hoping a parent or guardian stepped in as soon as that camera was turned off to say "Hey, you alright?" or "Do you want to talk this over?", because that kid looked like someone who couldn't swim being thrown into the deep end.


February 3rd, 2012 at 9:06 AM ^

this, or how he felt. They got their 30 seconds in the spotlight, though. This did not need to be televised. It is a tough enough situation to be in without having to face it in public. Shame on Saban, although I am more inclined to agree that coaches almost have to have loose commitments given players with loose commitments. Once again, this is a failure by the adults in his life, those who should be influencing him, not just taking a free ride.


February 3rd, 2012 at 12:02 PM ^

Poor guy looked seasick.  I'm glad he had a change of heart.  I don't doubt someone talked him into it.  It's obvious Alabama was his dream school and it got yanked out from under him by a dick of a coach, and it's too bad he can't go after he thought he would be.  He'll be better off at Arkansas, though, even if he might not feel that way at first.

Johnny Blood

February 3rd, 2012 at 8:41 AM ^

At some point, though, you've got to think some of the high school coaches are going to start to get wary of him, right? 

Maybe it's just me, but I would definitely think twice before sending my kids to him (unless they were consensus 4 or 5 stars)


February 3rd, 2012 at 8:47 AM ^

Saban has now won two national championships at Alabama.  I don't think he cares too much about losing one recruit, and kids/families don't care about oversigning because he's been doing it for years.  He will continue to get great recruits until the NCAA cracks down or until he leaves to fail in the NFL again.


February 3rd, 2012 at 8:52 AM ^

Can an ex recruit file a lawsuite over breach of contract? It seems that there is an inherent agreement, although not binding, can negatively effect a recruit. There would be a paper trail and what not from newspapers and recruiting sites. If a school did that to me, I would at least investigate the possibilities of the justice system.


February 3rd, 2012 at 9:13 AM ^

That's why Saban wouldn't comment on the question of whether he extended 4 year scholarships or the 1 year renewable scholarships.  He doesn't want to offer 4 year scholarships.  After 1 year, he can cut them loose.  

By the way, props to Auburn and Florida for offering 4 year deals to their recruits, even though the SEC hasn't made it standard policy.  


February 3rd, 2012 at 9:32 AM ^

You sure can.  And the coaches could sue recruits who say they are going to attend school A but then at the last minute put on the hat of school B.  Everybody can sue everybody if they want.

But neither side will win anything.

Wolverine 73

February 3rd, 2012 at 9:45 AM ^

The facts would have to align properly, but a recruit who chose to commit to an Alabama and decided to forego scholarship offers to, hypothetically, SC and Texas, who then got the grayshirt memo, might have a promissory estoppel/detrimental reliance claim against Alabama.  He would need to show he lost something of value in reasonable reliance on the promise of a scholarship to Alabama.  So say SC and TX were full, and he ended up stuck at Mississippi State, and they had a crummy OL and he was a RB, and this impacted his chances at a pro career (or having to wait a year to play at Alabama would have shortened his potential pro career), you might be able to concoct a claim.  Or you could argue you had to settle for a school that was academically inferior and that hurt your long range career opportunities.  It wouldn't be the greatest claim, but  you see more dubious claims get past motions to dismiss all the time. Of course, if the Offer says it can be revoked at any time for any reason before it is signed and returned, then you are pretty much screwed.  It would be fun to watch the motion practice where Alabama argued no one would "reasonably rely" that a scholarship offer wouldn't be revoked.


February 3rd, 2012 at 10:01 AM ^

But I'm a little disgusted that all the commenters on the article are just calling the kid stupid rather than expressing any concern about the situation he was put in. I guess there isn't too much concern about oversigning practices in the south


February 3rd, 2012 at 10:59 AM ^

Because AR ended up getting this kid, they are now at 24 signees. That obviously means that they can only take one more kid in this class. If Gregory goes to AR where he is expected to go then that takes AR off the table for Diamond. That means that Diamond would either go to Auburn (AL's biggest rival) or to M which will of course give them their first loss of the year.