“But it’s good that you all created such a tremendous story about all of this.”

That Nick Saban’s story about Justin Taylor’s recruitment differs from Taylor’s doesn’t particularly surprise me.

What does surprise me, though, is that Saban even felt the need to respond to a question about the controversy and did so after seemingly giving himself an out (“I don’t think I should even be commenting on that because these guys … we’re not supposed to comment about these recruits unless they’re coming to our place…”) before answering.  You’d think that’s precisely the kind of shit the man famously doesn’t have time for.

After all this time, is it possible that Saban’s feeling some heat on the recruiting trail about his roster management practices?  I’m having difficulty coming up with another reason he’d talk about Taylor now.

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15 Comments

Filed under Nick Saban Rules, Recruiting

15 responses to ““But it’s good that you all created such a tremendous story about all of this.”

  1. What I want to know is why being injured during a player’s senior year of high school necessarily means he has to grayshirt. That seems to be Saban’s (and a few others’) policy, but wouldn’t you want your team doctors to supervise the rehab? Why does the player and his family have to finance the entire rehab process when he could be coming in the summer to get care from the athletics department? That kind of policy deserves some scrutiny too.

    • At least when I was in school, football players were covered by insurance from the school if they hurt themselves on the field (or in practice).

      That being said, I think it’s way better for a kid to start late – assuming he’s hurt enough for it to impact his freshman season. If he enrolls in the fall, his 5 years to play 4 clock starts immediately. If he waits until December, he has the next 5 seasons to play 4.

      For kids who are truly special athletes, it won’t matter (see Alabama’s crop of juniors drafted in the first round last week). But for guys like Greg McElroy (who did enroll in December after and injury), who are probably not first round talent, it can make a difference whether they play, and in his case, whether they ever make any NFL money.

      To me, that greatly outweighs “supervised rehab”.

    • Bulldawg165

      I think the main reason is that the coach wants to actually make sure the athlete will make a full recovery before they use a scholarsip. I can understand it as long as they are upfront with the kid about it because the kid can always choose to go somewhere else.

      • I can understand it as long as they are upfront with the kid about it because the kid can always choose to go somewhere else.

        Exactly. I see no problem with greyshirting as long as it’s something that the coach is upfront about its possibility with the kid and his parents well in advance. Every school greyshirts to an extent.

        Saban needs to step down from his high horse about the media making this a “big story”. It wouldn’t have been a big story if he had told the kid back in September (when the kid got injured, btw) that b/c of his injury he couldn’t enroll when expected. It became a big story b/c the kid shut down his recruiting efforts b/c he thought he and a ride to ‘Bama while Saban was seeing what other kids were going to commit that he could replace Taylor with in the current signing class. I don’t disagree with Saban’s actions at all, but once you cross November/December timeframe, it’s a bit too late to be telling a kid that you don’t have room for him, IMO.

      • should say “a bit too late to be telling a kid that has been committed and shut down his recruiting process that you don’t have room for him, IMO.”

  2. charlottedawg

    Saban just signed the top recruting class in the country and i believe has done so 4 of the 6 years he’s been there. I think that’s pretty damning evidence that even IF he’s pulling schollys cutting players and not being forthright about it, the practice is still a huge net postive.

  3. That issue will be like a bedbug or flea on his back that will continue to bite him from now on, no different from the soft persona of Richt.

    • I totally agree. I think it’s a bad thing to do – both from an ethical and pragmatic standpoint. The ethics are obvious, but if a coach makes a habit of this, then it will eventually be used against him on the recruiting trail.

      • He also had that kid that ended up going to Arkansas that got similar news after Dalvin Tomlinson committed. That kid damn near cried at his press conference. I don’t doubt that ‘Bama will continue its recruiting train rolling on auto-pilot under Saban, but those two incidents certainly are getting played up by opposing coaches when they meet Mama and Grandma.

  4. Hogbody Spradlin

    Here’s the money quote from Saban:
    “We had an injured player [Taylor] who agreed to start school in January and then changed his mind. And then we were full. What else could we do?”

    The player had been committed to Alabama for close to a year. Taylor only agreed to start in January because Alabama asked him to. And Alabama asked him to start in January, when it previously said August, because why? Notwithstanding the genuine positives stated above by ellbama, the school withdrew its commitment. The motives and the benefits are blended, but the school suffers a lot less than the player.

  5. Ready Fire Aim

    Hyptohetical: HS kid injures his knee after he committs. The U that he’s committed to can’t get verification of his rehab, or what they do get indicates he’s not committed to the things he needs to do to fully recover. Do you stick by the kid or jump on a new recruit late in the game? What do you say in public about it?

    VaTech cut a starting linebacker during the summer last year because he wasn’t as invested in rehabbing a knee that he blew out in the Orange Bowl to the degree they wanted. Utter BS in my mind. No headlines.

    The focus on Saban has gotten stale. Media needs to spread the wealth on this one, IMO.

  6. Wilbur

    Any heat Saban felt on the recruiting trail was surely cooled by the Saban Lovefest that was ESPN’s coverage of the NFL draft.

  7. I choose Business Ethics

    The guy is an unethical piece of trash, plain and simple.

  8. Governor Milledge

    All situations are not created equal. You think Saban would have taken the same approach to Aaron Murray, if he was a Bama commit, or to Austin Long? Justin Taylor is obviously a coveted D-1 talent, but he was a 3 star RB recruit at ‘Bama. They wouldn’t have problems filling his spot