Blog Entry

Saban says Tide will offer four-year scholarships

Posted on: February 29, 2012 12:45 pm

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

Alabama was one of 30 BCS conference schools to recently vote against NCAA legislation that would allow -- though not mandate -- schools to offer multiple-year scholarships over the previous system of annual scholarship renewals. And the Tide football program had declined to offer them this past February, with Nick Saban citing lawsuits issued during the previous era of multiple-year scholarships as reason for the program's opposition.

Despite that stance, Saban told the Tuscaloosa News in a Tuesday story that the Tide would join Auburn and Florida (and, with the legislation's survival of the override vote, likely the rest of the SEC) in offering four-year scholarships starting with the 2013 class.

"We're going to offer four-year scholarships," Saban said. "Our whole conference is going to do it, all the schools, I think. And we're happy to do it."

Though we're skeptical a program truly "happy" to offer four-year scholarships would instead vote to prevent anyone from offering those scholarships, themselves included, Saban again referred to the legal ramifications when explaining the opposition of "some of the schools."

"We had the (four-year) rule years ago, and there were legal challenges to it," Saban said. "So we changed to the one-year scholarship then. I think that was why some of the schools had concerns." 

A four-year scholarship would conceivably make it more difficult for Saban to oversign in February and then "cut" players afterwards -- the Tide have seen widespread departures between spring practice and the start of fall camp each of the last several years under Saban -- but he forcefully denied either cutting players or that the new scholarships would have any impact on that issue at any school.

"We don't cut players," Saban said. "I don't know anyone who does. So I don't think that's an issue ... The player will still have to be academically eligible. He will still have to obey team rules and regulations. And the player is still going to have the same rights and the same appeals process that he has now."

Saban is entirely correct that just because School X has committed its four-year promise in writing doesn't mean Player Y is going to be able to skate through four years of school without worrying about the consequences. (He's also right that this could conceivably lead to some legal appeals here and there.) But given the ease with which schools have dismissed players on one-year scholarships in the past -- it's surprising to hear Saban say he "doesn't know anyone" who cuts players, given that SEC West rival Bobby Petrino declined to renew the scholarships of five different players just last year -- we disagree that nothing has changed.

Even if having a promise of four years' worth of education in writing is still just a promise, that's more commitment from their new schools than those players have gotten before.

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Since: Aug 13, 2010
Posted on: February 29, 2012 11:32 pm

Saban says Tide will offer four-year scholarships

We're not impressed with UAT. Auburn started as a polytechnic institute didn't it? IF you're gonna be cute, that's the one you're modifying. The default is UA. We don't need to distinguish it from UAB. UA is correct. UAT is not; no school goes by those initials.

Since: Sep 25, 2006
Posted on: February 29, 2012 11:12 pm

Saban says Tide will offer four-year scholarships

I am sure that Auburn had something to do with it but it goes much deeper than that.  There is a movement to make this an NCAA wide thing.  By doing it themsleves, they can have more say in how these things work.  Write their own rules on what can cause you to lose it.  This means that they can be very generous to themselves and make it much easier to take a scholarship away from somebody they want to.  Make no mistake, it is going to be different in the future.  Far fewer kids are going to get their hearts broken.  But this adds a new layer to this for parents.  They are going to have to, or be advised to get a lawyer to look over the contracts offered by each of the schools and advise them of any pitfalls lurking in them.  Or tell them which one is the safer deal.

The kids had better wise up also.  You can bet that paperwork is going to be involved in every last little mistep they make.  Late for a practice...goes on paper.  Late for a class...goes on paper.  Get in a scuffle with a teammate...goes on paper.  This way, if they want to be rid of you, they have paperwork to back it up.

I agree when you say that the 4 year scholarships are a NCAA thing, but I don't think that AU offering scholarships had much influence on UAT now offering 4yrs or they would have offered them this past recruiting season & UAT would have voted for it (It was no big secret that Auburn & other SEC schools were offering 4 year schollies.  If anything, Saban might have been under some pressure from the conference to adopt it.  Either way, I don't have a problem w/ it & I'd like to see the NCAA adopt it - also to put the same transfer rules on coaches that they have on players)

I view it as a step in the right direction that's better for the student-athletes. 

Since: Apr 7, 2009
Posted on: February 29, 2012 10:26 pm

Saban says Tide will offer four-year scholarships

This is SEC football. Trust me, Saban does not want to go along with this 4 year scholly business. That is a HUGE MONKEY WRENCH in what he has been doing for years. 

He couldn't pull that crap in the NFL that's why he's back in NCAA and now he won't be able to pull it there either. 


Right on!  I would also add that he didn't do anything spectacular when he was at Michigan State either. 

Since: Oct 1, 2006
Posted on: February 29, 2012 9:44 pm
This comment has been removed.

Post Deleted by Administrator

Since: Aug 7, 2011
Posted on: February 29, 2012 8:24 pm

Saban says Tide will offer four-year scholarships

They had to do this because Auburn was using it as a recruiting tool against them.

Since: Mar 18, 2009
Posted on: February 29, 2012 8:14 pm

Saban says Tide will offer four-year scholarships

   Not a Saban hater or worshipper.  Since, you have the inside connection and understanding of methods an policy, why don't you make a list of the young men (formerly scholarshipped) that didn't make the grade and are no longer on the team's active roster.  You can't.  I can't .  The media can't, because UA's "roster management" unlike most NCAA schools is NOT for public consumption.  As Nick would say and has said, the media nor the fans have a right to know how he manages his roster.  When in doubt, deny and obfuscate, right?  He is very good at that as well as being a very good X's and O's man.

   As for his "taking care of the kids" who for whatever reason do not make the grade or cut the mustard, I'm sure they are "taken care of."  That is why a bunch of them and their family and HS coaches aren't running to the local news outlets complaining about being cast out onto the street.  No one is saying that Saban or anyone with any management responsibilities at UA or associated with UA is stupid enough to throw one of their formerly treasured recruits out on the street.  Offering someone a chance to earn an education may appeal to some, but certainly not all of the kids who are cut (don't live up to their billing or whatever you want to call it) want to take classes they hate and not play the game they love somewhere. 

   Those kids are placed in other, smaller programs and guaranteed scholarships and their family and coaches and mentors are given assurances in a variety of ways (aka hush money or priviledges) that the kid is being taken care of.  So, the fact that very few complain is by no means a badge of honor.  Not even close.  There are people, who want only the best for the program, and they are not employees of the state or the university.  Those are the folks that "take care of things."  Not Saban.  He just tells whomever needs to know, who needs to go.  Not a crime, nor does it break any NCAA rules, evidently, but it is/was oversigning and cutting (Yes, "cutting" within the edges of the rules, but certainly not within the spirit of the rules).

   Yes, it is big business.  Lots of folks are beholding to the money these big programs generate, including the local and regional media.  If run like a big business, there are things that are done and ways that things can be handled, that the guy on the street has no need to know.  But we know that big business is RARELY a bunch of Mr. Rogers in a board room.  They'll take care of you, too, and you likely won't complain.  So, the final tally is my least favorite cop out of all time, "It is what it is."  Freaking brilliant!  We surely deserve what we get, as it seems a huge majority of us only want to be fed and entertained in no particular order.  How it happens or where it comes from does not matter to us in the least.  That is truly sad, and we should be ashamed.

Since: Sep 21, 2008
Posted on: February 29, 2012 6:50 pm

Saban says Tide will offer four-year scholarships

You know what's worse than a Saban hater? An ignorant Saban hater. Go out and find all these players that couldn't cut it so Saban revoked their scholorship. You won't be able to find any because Saban doesn't do it. You can however, find young men on the Alabama campus who never played or played very little, who just didn't have the talent to play, yet they are still there getting an education because Saban sat them down and told them man to man, that football wasn't going to work out, but they were more than welcome to complete their education. I would love to hear just one good argument for why overrecruiting is bad when every player that is given a scholorship, can at the very least, get an education. Plenty of the "overrecruited" players would never set foot on a college campus if not for coaches pushing the limits each and every year.

Since: Sep 21, 2008
Posted on: February 29, 2012 6:18 pm

Saban says Tide will offer four-year scholarships

If you truly investigate what Saban is doing with the kids that just aren't gonna make it in the football program, you would realize that he is not the big bad wolf. MYTH: You are not as talented as we thought you were, so we are revoking your scholorship. REALITY: Son you have had an injury and things are just not gonna work out. We can give you a medical scholorship and you can put all your efforts into getting a 1st class education. I don't know what you all think, but as for me, I would rather my son get a college education than be the 85th player on the roster who parties thru school and leaves with no education and no football prospects. So, what do you think Tennessee, LSU, Florida, or Auburn fathers, what would you want for your sons?

Since: Dec 7, 2011
Posted on: February 29, 2012 5:11 pm

Saban says Tide will offer four-year scholarships

Saban does a very good job of getting what he wants out of kids. Whether they're prepared for life, other than as football players, is another story. The four year scholarship probably makes it even harder for a kid to transfer.

Since: Oct 17, 2011
Posted on: February 29, 2012 4:49 pm

Saban says Tide will offer four-year scholarships

I think Saban does a very good job of preparing kids for the next stage in life. In life, whether it be on the football field of play or in a career, there are consequences for every action. Before a kid walks onto campus, he knows what is expected of him and what he'll have to do to keep his scholarship. Thats how it is. When youre offered a job, you know what is expected of you, and if for whatever reason you cannot get that job done, then you dont have a job anymore. Yes, Saban does "weed out" the guys who cant contribute to the team, but hes never kicked a guy off the team, taken his scholarship away and said "good luck kid" the way some people would like to think he does. He make take away someones chances of continuing to play football, but he always makes sure that the person has the opportunity to continue their education. Some guys might not agree with Saban that their football days are over, and those guys transfer to other schools to try to prove him wrong. To my knowledge, he hasnt been proven wrong yet, but I guess it could happen. He gives players every opportunity to prove themselves on the field. Sometimes it just doesnt work out. To keep a guy like that on the team anyway is doing nothing but hurting the team, because youre wasting a scholarship on someone that could be put to good use on someone else. Thats my point. I know he wants the best for all his players, but at the end of the day, his job is to win football games. A coach who doesnt win games but graduates all his players gets fired everytime. Its asking too much of these guys to wrap themselves up in the educational aspect of their players at the detrement of the team. He is a football coach. UA hired him to win football games. Im a Bama fan and student and I love Coach Saban for everything he has done for UA, but I also understand why he does things the way he does. His job is to win football games. If these kids buy in to his process and commit to the level of excellence that he requires, the other stuff will take care of itself. Some of us would consider it an honor just to have the opportunity to put that crimson jersey on and walk out of that tunnel. Dont take it for granted. Roll Tide.

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