No comment.

The Pensacola paper does a follow-up on the Darius Paige story, but can’t get anyone to comment on the record, other than people at his old school.  The list of those not responding?

  • Paige
  • Paige’s father
  • The University of Alabama
  • The Alabama High School Athletic Association (which wouldn’t even comment about whether it had been contacted about the transfer)
  • The NCAA

The News Journal has made a public records request for all electronic correspondence between Faucheaux and the Florida High School Athletic Association, AHSAA, NCAA and University of Alabama. That request currently is pending.

Stick with it, fellas.  That much silence is pretty eloquent.

About these ads

126 Comments

Filed under Academics? Academics.

126 responses to “No comment.

  1. Spike

    Is this an example of the “Tacit Admission Rule”?

  2. jaxdawg

    eloquent and deafening.

  3. As I think has been discussed on this blog before we’re not going to hear anything from the great State of Alabama because their Open records requests have to be complied with within 2 YEARS and that’s how long they’ll take. It does strike me that the good source of information will have to come through the Florida high School . Why does Satan need this kind of doodoo (sorry run off from another post) over a 3-Star recruit?

  4. Always Someone Else's Fault

    Kid transfers from a high school where less than half the students read at the federal minimum level to one where almost all go to college because… he wants to go to college.

    Sorry, this is the sort of media story that drives me crazy. Foley will help him academically. It’s a much better high school if you have college ambitions. The statistics are right there in black and white the school accountability reports,

    • For the tenth time: Paige changing schools isn’t what’s noteworthy about the story. Alabama directing traffic is.

      Why is this so hard to understand?

      • tidefanintn

        Why is that wrong? He’s directed him to a school that can help make him eligible. As long as they’re doing it within the bounds of a proper education, I agree with Infante: it’s commendable.

        • Is noteworthy the same as wrong? Or is that just the case when we’re talking about ‘Bama? ;)

          • Always Someone Else's Fault

            The inference is that Foley will cheat to get him eligible, which is patently unfair to the people at Foley. And again – is it unethical for someone to point out to a kid that he stands a better chance of getting into college at one high school versus another? Is it wrong? And if it’s not, then how in the heck is it newsworthy or even noteworthy?

          • It’s the paranoia that comes with success I suppose. I doubt this merits two posts if you’re just trying to encourage Coach Richt and his staff to note how well Coach Saban’s staff takes care of their future student athletes.

            • The interesting part to me is that the NCAA yawns about it.

              • What would be the proper to response to something that is neither illegal or unethical?

                • Doubt the folks at Paige’s old high school would characterize it as unethical, but, eh, what do they know?

                  • I’m not concerned with how the jilted characterize it. I’m asking you to characterize it one way or the other.

                    • How about “evasive?” Do you, Senator, believe it is unethical? I know your concern is that the NCAA seems disinterested, but the NCAA has in fact addressed the issue and found no wrongdoing. It is not there job — nor should it be anyone’s — to keep digging and digging until they do find something wrong, just because someone suggested someone did something unethical and it was proven that it wasn’t. The only facts here are that a kid who needs help getting qualified was told by a coach who is recruiting him that he would benefit from transferring to another school that does in fact have the ability to improve his ability to qualify within the bounds of an educational structure that is available to all students.

                    • I am exceedingly uncomfortable when the athletics side involves itself in academics. And that has absolutely nothing to do with the University of Alabama. It’s ripe for abuse, as I can tell you from the sad stories at my school.

                      Is this unethical? IMO, borderline. Neither of knows what was said to the kid.

                      And the NCAA hasn’t weighed in on either side is the way I read the comment from the flack. YMMV, I guess.

                    • I agree the potential for abuse is there, just as it is with anything else. I’m uncomfortable with this player being denied the opportunity because his interests align with the less altruistic ones of a coach. Preventing abuse should be the concern, not the action that could potentially lead to abuse.

              • Always Someone Else's Fault

                So they should pass a rule banning coaches from making educational recommendations to prospective student athletes? What are you recommending they do?

                • What you recommending they do?O I don’t know ,maybe let their parents do their job. The parents are worried about their child not the football player. So yes, until they are out off high school and are no longer the parents responsibility ,as a rule, Coaches should be ordered to butt out. Why? Because guiding leads to incentive’s and incentive’s lead to Daddy getting a job working watching to grass grow at the U of A , Who is paying for this family to pull up stakes out of Fla and move to another school district. That doodoo costs money and who paid for the moving truck,the new utility deposits , the literally $1000′s it costs to move and what is the family doing to support itself in a new city? We’ve seen how benevolent the Tide is with the interests of its potential players. Are they helping guide some bespectacled little kid who runs a 5.2 up to this bastion of education at Foley High…I don’t think so scooter.

                  • So you’re suggesting that even though it can be a positive for this young man, it shouldn’t be done because there is the possibility of totally unrelated violations being committed. Well reasoned. No, they didn’t steer a kid they aren’t recruiting to Foley. How shameful.

                • You think that’s all that happened here? And even if that’s the case, what makes an Alabama recruiter an expert in educational recommendations?

                  Nah, nothing at all to see here for the NCAA. So much for culture changing.

                  • I think that nothing else has happened here other than unsupported suspicions based on cynicism rather than facts. It’s you’re right as a blogger to suggest without evidence, and it’s my privilege as a commenter — as long as I’m welcome here — to question it.

                  • Always Someone Else's Fault

                    “You think that’s all that happened here?”

                    Well then, spell it out. Are you suggesting that the teachers and administrators at Foley High School cheat? Because that’s no different than someone hopping on a blog and accusing you of things that would get you disbarred.

                    • Are you suggesting that the teachers and administrators at Foley High School cheat?

                      Christ, I don’t know. How would you have answered that question about Jovon Robinson’s high school a week ago?

                    • Always Someone Else's Fault

                      Look, high school grades for core classes aren’t rocket science. Eliminate distractions, get some good tutoring, and a kid can get a ton of credits out of the way in a year. It helps tremendously when that kid is surrounded by confident students motivated to succeed academically. That, in a nutshell, is Foley High School, as evidenced by the accountability reports.

                      As for JR, again – check the accountability data. Wooddale (JR’s high school and producer of the offending transcript) is basically Washington in terms of percentages of kids who read at federal minimum levels and average college placement test scores. Maybe if Robinson had moved to a better academic environment, he wouldn’t have needed to get his transcript faked.

                      Is there a lot of corruption in the system? Sure – which is why we’ve got enough stories with actual evidence to deal with instead of tossing out this sort of “i’m not sayin’, I’m just sayin’ ” speculation.

                    • Atlanta Public School employee

                      It’s obviously not wrong to cheat. It’s for the kids! Hell, we’re just helping kids get to college. The fact that there’s an NCAA rule against cheating doesn’t mean it’s right. I just consider it an acceptable form of civil disobedience.

                    • It doesn’t appear you’re commenting on the right thread here, since we aren’t discussing anyone who has broken any rules.

                    • Atlanta Public School employee

                      It’s easy to decide that nobody broke any rules if you don’t investigate. Hell, we kept telling the state that there was no need to investigate APS. But the bastards did it anyway.

                    • The difference is, no one here has been accused of breaking any rules. If I accuse you of living at your house, and then you demonstrate that you live there legally, should the cops still go through your closets just to make sure you haven’t done something else wrong?

                    • AJ Green

                      That’s SOP for NCAA investigators.

                • Hackerdog

                  Actually, the Alabama High School Athletic Association ALREADY has a rule against high school coaches recruiting players from other schools. It’s a year’s probation for the school and the coach.

                  Of course, if a college can serve as a proxy to allow high school coaches to recruit players indirectly, then that’s harder to connect. I guess Nick Saban has time for that shit.

                  • One baseless accusation at a time, Hackerdog. Is Pruitt the evil college recruiter who is heartlessly manipulating this poor kid into going to college, or is he just a pawn of Nick Saban’s master plan to field a championship high school team in South Alabama?

                    • Hackerdog

                      I’m just responding to the suggestion that an athlete switching high schools should be encouraged. The AHSAA disagrees.

                    • No one is suggesting a game of musical chairs here. Nor does anyone get up in arms if a parent suggests to another friend that they transfer to another school to get their child more help, which happens often and everywhere. Full disclosure: a state-run testing facility actually made the suggestion — not the arrangement — to me to choose a school that had programs best suited to help his academic needs and gifts. We were not required to submit him for testing, but my wife and i chose to do so out of concerns we had about his placement in a public school. Is this really any different just because the University of Alabama does not potentially benefit from the change (then again, they might)?

                    • Hackerdog

                      The AHSAA prohibition is in place for a reason. If every public school employee was concerned only with a student’s academic success, then there would be no need for the AHSAA prohibition. The fact that the prohibition is in place, and has recently had the penalties for breaking it strengthened, suggests that you are naive in your belief in the altruism of football coaches at the high school and college level.

                    • Feel free to show me where I’ve ever accused Coach Pruitt of anything other than wanting to get the player qualified to play football. Perhaps the disconnect here is my misguided belief that it’s okay for the schools to educate athletes and that not every school has an equal ability to do so. It’s irrelevant that a University coach recommended the move as opposed to anyone else. The only concern the NCAA should have here is whether the move was to facilitate grade changing or other unethical means of improving his chances of qualifying. All parties involved have adequately demonstrated that there are above-the-board opportunities available at Foley that are not available at Washington.
                      The stance by everyone else here seems to no longer be, “why isn’t the NCAA investigating?” presumably because they did, but is now “obviously they aren’t asking the right questions because they didn’t find anything wrong.”

                    • Hackerdog

                      “It’s irrelevant that a University coach recommended the move as opposed to anyone else.”

                      No. A university coach directing high school players to transfer may, or may not, be an NCAA violation. A high school coach directing high school players to transfer would definitely be an AHSAA violation. It very much matters who was involved in directing the player to transfer.

                    • Hackerdog, you appear to be working from assumptions that are outright false. A college coach recommending a high school transfer is explicitly NOT an NCAA violation. The NCAA has stated as much in response to this case. Also, while you are correct that the AHSAA does forbid HS coaches from recruiting players, everyone involved in this instance — including the coaches that started it and the player himself — have said that it was a college coach who referred the player to a different school, which, as previously stated by even you, is not a violation of either the AHSAA or the NCAA. So what is to be investigated here? All testimony — which is the only form of evidence here — including that of the accusers, indicates no violation was committed.

                    • Hackerdog

                      You yourself have stated that, if the college coach were complicit in academic shenanigans involved during the transfer, or as a result of the transfer, then it would be an NCAA violation. It is not a given that no violations have been committed.

                      I agree that, if the college coach were motivated by nothing more than altruistic concern for the student’s academic development, then there is most likely no infractions. However, the history of NCAA infractions is littered with proxies.

                      As a Tide fan, I will refer you to the Albert Means case. Now, there is no NCAA rule against a high school coach advising one of his players as to the best team for him. But, when the coach has been compensated to make the recommendation, it becomes a violation. An NCAA investigation uncovered the compensation. I would not be surprised if those involved initially denied any wrongdoing to the NCAA.

                      So, if there is nothing more to this than meets the eye, then there may not be any violations, even though it’s unseemly. However, given the close relationship between the Foley coach and the Alabama assistant, there may be more to the story.

                      In the end, even if no violations have been committed, I think the NCAA should look into restricting college coaches from directing athletes to transfer schools. The AHSAA prohibits poaching athletes for a reason, and the practice could easily be abused.

                    • Here’s the difference: in the Means case, the NCAA was investigating allegations that a recruit received improper benefits. It’s illegal to receive improper benefits, and so they investigated. The denial was a coverup. In this case, no one is denying anything because no allegations have been made that relate to an actual violation. Further, it would not behoove the Alabama coach to participate in some sort of player shuffling scheme because those things are easily exposed and they risk injuring the relationship with the school he’s removing them from (as evidenced here) which is detrimental to recruiting (his first job) and would make it difficult to get players to join his underground recruit-road in the future (his second job, if we’re to believe he’s trying to recruit kids to a high school instead of his university). The risk of doing so is high whereas the reward is … well, there isn’t a reward for the college coach. The AHSAA has their rules to protect the competitive nature of it’s members, but there is no suggestion — not even by the accusers — that those rules have been violated.
                      Now you’re suggesting the rules need to be revised to eliminate this, and that’s fine. But it’s also a completely different matter than investigating a coach who has done nothing to indicate he has violated any rules. There have been no attempts to hide any facts, which is indicated by the fact that not a single allegation made by the offended high school have been denied.

                    • Hackerdog

                      I agree that the Means case appeared dirty from the start. But it’s also a case where the word of the parties involved turned out to be insufficient. If the NCAA had asked those involved, and then taken them at their word, the case would have gone nowhere.

                      Given the close, personal relationship of the coaches involved here, it would have been easy for the HS coach and the Alabama assistant to collude to direct a high quality player, or players, to Foley. That would obviously benefit the Foley coach. And keeping a high quality Alabama recruit academically eligible to attend UA would obviously benefit the UA program. That would also violate AHSAA rules. And it would violate those rules whether they deny it or not. Did that happen here? Maybe. Maybe not.

                      It’s very possible that Alabama is simply taking advantage of some gaps in NCAA rules to act in ways that would make many uncomfortable, but isn’t illegal. It wasn’t until Saban kept “bumping into” players at high schools that the NCAA enacted the Saban rule. This may be another future Saban rule.

                    • Again, a key difference here is that in the Means case, there absolutely was an accuser who was testifying to something going wrong, and it was his (or their, rather) testimony that resulted in the punishment. In this situation, the accusers are not testifying to something wrong, only reporting something they don’t actually understand.
                      In this case, if we dismiss the very obvious reasons why he chose Foley (proximity, ostensible academic benefits that require no manipulation whatsoever in the form of additional credit blocks available, etc.), at that point can we be suspicious of “real” motives, but in this very real instance, the supposed motives are entirely unnecessary to accomplish the actual goal of getting the kid into Alabama. Does it potentially benefit the high school football team if he enrolls? It could. Does that benefit the recruiter? No. Do the academics at Foley benefit the student? Yes. So why scheme to accomplish the exact same things you can accomplish without breaking any rules? Put a different way: the recruit has a very real and respectable reason for transferring. Why wouldn’t they just piggyback on that without having to introduce anything risky? If I win a car in a contest, I’m not going to steal that car the night before they give it to me. The car is mine either way, so why risk something stupid to get it?

                    • Hackerdog

                      I agree that there could be legitimate reasons for the student to transfer to Foley. But the rules don’t deal with the reasons behind the transfer. The rules only deal with who is encouraging the transfer.

                      And Alabama and the assistant UA coach obviously benefit from this student being eligible to attend college next year.

                      Now, could the UA assistant have seen the student’s need for academic support and suggested he transfer entirely of his own volition? Yes. Could the assistant have seen the student’s academic needs and then colluded with his friend to steer the student to his program? Also yes.

                    • If he was having the kid move 200 miles away, that would be a bigger factor, because it would open a much wider number of options. But trying to legislate such specific edge cases (that are pretty much unprovable) isn’t in anyone’s best interest, and at the moment, they aren’t against the rule. The NCAA has stated explicitly they don’t oppose it, and the AHSAA is only concerned with a high school coach recruiting a player. Considering all of the stars that would have to align to just to make this work (a high school coach at school A in need of a player, a college recruiter with a player at school B who needs better academics, school A having explicit academic benefits not available at B, the player fitting the specific need of the coach at A, school A being proximate enough to school B so as to be feasible for the family) makes it almost ridiculous to suggest. If you want to know why you don’t hear about more cases like this, I’d say that’s a good place to start.

                    • Hackerdog

                      Again, the AHSAA rules don’t distinguish between a player moving to a better school or worse school And they don’t distinguish between a school across town versus a school across the state. I guess it’s just lucky for the UA assistant that all those stars aligned perfectly at a school where his friend is the head coach. Imagine.

                    • It’s actually not luck for the recruiter, because in the case you’re trying to build — the one where the AHSAA needs to be suspicious — the friendship doesn’t benefit the recruiter, it benefits the high school coach. So yes, it really is pretty amazing that all those events lined up like they did. In fact, it’s so amazing that a rational mind might recognize it as sheer coincidence and in no way something that could actually be masterminded.

                    • Just FYI – AHSAA did investigate and announced today that everything is clear. Now, I guess you can question the thoroughness of the investigation, but that’s conspiracy territory.

            • Scorpio Jones, III

              No, the point of the stories is not that Foley could or would cheat, but that Bama directed the kid to transfer to a school in their state. I have no idea whether this is against NCAA rules or not, and frankly don’t care, but that is what the story is about.

              • Always Someone Else's Fault

                Without that inference, it’s a total non-story. With that inference, it gets 65 comments and counting.

                The two schools are 37.1 miles apart. A coach recommends the high school with much higher test scores and college placement to a kid who needs a strong senior year to qualify. Stop the presses.

                Look, if the issue here is no more than what a college coach should be able to recommend to a kid academically, then I don’t see how that rises to the Senator’s “same ol” NCAA” frame in the original post or “hey, the family’s not talking, we all know what that means” frame in the second.

                Look, I think SB does a wonderful job, but this is IMO a classic example of piling on an innocent kid, family, and educators with no evidence just to have some fun at the expense of UA. That makes me squeamish.

      • Billy Mumphrey

        This is nothing new. The University of Louisville has had a few basketball players transfer into the Jefferson County school system. I can guarantee you Pitino was “directing traffic” in those cases too. I’m not saying it is right, just that it happens and doesn’t seem to be on the NCAA’s radar.

  5. tidefanintn

    Odd that the Pensacola paper is choosing to present the facts the way they are. For instance, they are saying no response from Alabama, whereas other media outlets are pointing out that Alabama isn’t allowed to comment because Paige is a recruit. They’re saying the NCAA hasn’t responded but the NCAA has officially stated that Pruitt violated no rules. John Infante went on to say that what Pruitt did is commendable. If you peel it back, that makes sense. All the hullabaloo is over the coach who is losing a player and his AD who is an Auburn booster paraphrasing Pruitt as saying Foley HS will “take care” of Paige. So it’s getting worked up over things that aren’t said.

    • Scott W.

      Commendable, sure. It’ll will also be commendable when it doesn’t work out and the kid is cut or told to transfer again.

      • You’re mixing up your misguided hate here. Even if you believe that Bama is callous after the players get into school, getting them into school in the first place still benefits the player.

        • Scott W.

          Misguided hate or the truth? I guess I’ve forgotten Alabama’s commitment to molding young men. Must be because the win at all costs idea has legs.

        • Darrron Rovelll

          It was that sentiment and legal testimony that got Fred Davison fired.

        • No One Knows You're a Dawg

          What about when they get “roster managed” out of school? Who does that benefit?

          • Are you changing the subject, or are you suggesting that they should not help the kids get qualified because of the possibility that they may not complete their college education there? I’m not mounting a defense of roster management here because it is not the subject of this thread.

            • Hogbody Spradlin

              Tide Fan, up above you commend Alabama for helping the kid get in school. Well, Alabama can also exploit the kids and roster manage them off the team, and Alabama will not release scholarship data like other SEC schools.

              All these things fit the caricature of a powerful football program controlling everything to suit its purpose. Especially when we have to live with the strictest suspension policy in the conference and a local police department that has a hard on for the football team.

    • Keese

      Now you understand how UGA fans feel toward the AJC hit piece parade

  6. Cojones

    Except for the whistle, sounds usually aren’t made while directing traffic.

  7. Dawgfan Will

    Too bad such recommendations aren’t also suggested to non-athletes who want to get into college.

    • Agree. I do not believe it’s a college football recruiters’ job to do that, though.

      • Gravidy

        You seem to be a rather conscientious fan, unlike some of the trolls who, uhhhh…well, troll through here. Welcome to the best darned UGA blog around. FYI – I have nothing to do with producing it. I merely visit frequently.

        I don’t have a dawg in this fight, literally or figuratively, but I thought I’d stick my nose in and make a few points anyway.

        First, there are some really crummy schools, and strictly from the player’s point of view, this appears to be a good thing. If transferring to another school gives this kid an opportunity to go to college at Alabama (or anywhere else) that he wouldn’t otherwise have, he wins.

        Secondly, although this appears to be a good thing for the kid, his welfare is not the Alabama recruiter’s primary interest here, nor is it yours. Having said that, I feel compelled to say that if this kid were going to UGA, I might make some of the arguments you are making. :-)

        And finally, I am really queasy about this in general. While this kid may benefit in this case, I don’t think having college recruiters rampantly orchestrating school transfers is a good thing. Something tells me the kids’ welfare would take a back seat in a lot of cases. Call me crazy.

        • You may know tidefan in his other role as my partner with the running of the Mumme Poll.

          • Gravidy

            Ahhh… I was unaware those two Tide fans were one in the same. In that case, he can’t be all bad, huh? ;-)

        • I can appreciate that, but there are a couple things to note: first, the suggestion that this happens “rampantly.” It may have happened before as I don’t follow recruiting anything more than very casually, but this is the first Bama recruit I can think of during Saban’s tenure that transferred to another school first.
          Regarding the insinuation that the kid’s well-being is the primary pursuit of the recruiter, I fully believe he’s only interested in getting the kid qualified to play football. I don’t have an issue with that. Motive is pretty unimportant as long as the kid benefits, and in this case, that’s so. When a kid is encouraged to transfer only for the sake of the university he may attend but to his personal detriment, then I’m onboard with the criticism. Attacking one recruiter because of something another recruiter may do, though, is a bit untenable.

          • Gravidy

            I apologize. I don’t think I made myself clear. I didn’t mean to suggest that this is currently happening rampantly. I was making the old “slippery slope” argument. I meant to say that if this sort of thing were to start happening rampantly, that would probably be a bad thing. And if this incident passes NCAA muster without any rules changes, I assume this sort of thing will start happening a lot more often.

            And secondly, I didn’t attack this recruiter. As I said, as far as I can tell, this instance will work out in the kid’s favor. The only “negative” thing I said about the recruiter is that this kid’s welfare isn’t his primary concern. I’m not suggesting it should be. I was merely stating a fact.

            All in all, I dare say you and I pretty much agree about this specific case. My concern is what happens next. I’m afraid an increase in this sort of activity won’t be so benign. What do you think about that? Do you think this sort of thing should be allowed in general with no limits?

            And here’s the real meat of the situation: What whould you have thought if all the facts in this case remained the same except one – namely an Auburn recruiter was involved rather than an Alabama recruiter. Be honest. I’m going to have my bullshit detector set on “11″. :-)

            • This may make me a bad person or whatever, but I never assume bad things about Auburn or other schools for the selfish reason that it allows me to maintain the high ground in discussions like this. Now, do I occasionally tease their fans? Yes. But I don’t assume guilt on things with no evidence. For instance, I don’t assume that Auburn pressured anyone to change Jovon Robinson’s grades. Or that they arranged for Reuben Foster to move to Auburn. (They absolutely paid the Newtons, though. I’m reserved, not blind ;) But, even if you choose not to believe that, my motives don’t change the validity of the things I’ve said, just as a recruiter’s reason for wanting to get a kid better academic support doesn’t change the fact that the kid gets better academic support — which we agree on.
              With that said, the question doesn’t seem to be whether the NCAA needs to limit this kind of thing — they do already — but whether those limits are far reaching enough. There seems to be a desire to find a reason why this should be a case to redefine those limits, but I believe that’s misguided. We agree that nothing ostensibly wrong happened here, so how do you redefine the existing standards without any example of someone abusing them? Do you lower the speed limit from 70 to 60 because someone driving 70 makes you believe that someone could have driven 85? If there is a slippery slope, the pattern we’ve established for it now is that even more kids will be directed to schools who can help them academically, and this particular example would indicate that if that weren’t the case, there’s going to be a whistleblower to make sure it’s evaluated.

              • Gravidy

                Whew. I won’t say my bullshit detector just got activated, but my crimson-colored-glasses detector just exploded. I’m trying to draw you into a discussion of what might happen if other schools started to do this sort of thing. I think I’m justified in believing it would not be a veritable Compassion for the Students Festival. You, in a strained effort to make sure nobody has any excuse to ascribe any sort of nefarious motives to Alabama, are not going to be led down that road at all.

                I get it. You’re an Alabama fan. I’m a Georgia fan. We’re touchy when we think someone is attacking our school. But I’m not attacking your school. Let’s pretend this happened at Ohio State. Lets talk about what might happen if schools all over the country started doing this sort of thing as a matter of routine. I’m not able to suspend disbelief as well as you. I think things would get ugly pretty quickly if that happened.

                I understand the point you were making at the end, but a slippery slope doesn’t lead to a horizontal path that stays at one level of goodness or propriety. By definition, a slippery slope always starts with the best of intentions. It’s the part which sometimes comes later that makes the old slippery slope arguement so old.

                • The issue seems to be that based solely on what you know of me from my pseudonym, you’ve drawn other conclusions about me. Anything I say that does not fit neatly into them can’t be true.
                  Here’s what I was trying to say: the regulations are already in place to limit abuse, which is why this isn’t already happening more than it is. This isn’t original or innovative. This is a story because someone with sour grapes didn’t understand those regulations, not because they were stretched or violated. In fact, it’s only a story because it’s a different version of Lane Kiffin screaming that Urban Meyer cheated by calling the player on a recruiting visit. Should that incident have turned into reviewing when coaches are allowed to call recruits? Of course not.

                  • Gravidy

                    Aww hell… now were making assumptions about each other and blah, blah, blah. I’ll just go ahead and bail on this. I’m interested in having one conversation, and you are interested in having another. There’s nothing wrong with that, but pursuing it further doesn’t make much sense at this point. Thanks for the chat, though. I always enjoy talking to fans of other teams when both parties are able to be as reasonable as opposing SEC fans can be. ;-)

              • JayBird

                “They absolutely paid the Newtons”..really? Prove it. I hope that was a joke, hence the smiley face…AU went through a 13 month NCAA colonoscopy on that, and nothing, nada, was found on ANY of AU’s programs. That was a Miss State deal, with an assist from bammer’s Red Elephant Club, from the word go, and you bammers know it…. no matter how much Finescum and the bammer media threw out there..

    • Scorpio Jones, III

      They are, every day….except that the college recruiters are not recruiting for the football team.

  8. Debby Balcer

    The cost of the move and availability of employment for his family do make it worth investigating. Michael Oher’s was investigated and he just transferred in city.

    • Always Someone Else's Fault

      The schools are 37.1 miles apart. It’s an extra 15 minute drive.

      • Erskine

        The distance between these 2 schools is not a relevant fact. I will admit it would be hard to travel 37 miles in 15 minutes. I guess bama is providing helicopter service or police escorts as well.
        School district selection is based on your primary address and property taxes. I will reinterate a comment from above, isn’t it the parent’s responsibility to look after the child’s best interest. For 10 years of his academic life, the parents were fine, then a bama coach comes along like the tooth fairy, and enlightens this young man about the opportunities elsewhere. It appears the inhouse defense is the bama coach was only doing this out of the goodness of his heart for the eductional benefit of the young man. RRiigghhtt. The coach was doing it for 1 reason & one reason only, and that was his concern for his job performance. the young man is just a means to an end, nothing more.
        As the parent, it would be reasonable to ask, how is this coach going to effectively gain a transfer from my current schools district. I doubt the current shool board will be impressed as the reason for transfer is ’cause Coach Pruit said so or I play football real good.
        I will go back to your statement, it’s ONLY 37.1 MILES DIFFERENCE. If Foley was such an obvious education improvement, why didn’t the parent make the choice years ago? If the parents could not exercise the financial means to upgrade the kid’s eductional status in the past 10 years, how is it suddenly feasible now? Suurrre the Coach’s only concern is the kid’s educational well being, if that makes you feel better, congratulations.

        • Erskine, you’re probably a very good parent, and so it’s easy from that mindset to say that you would have already gotten your child into a better situation if possible so there must be something else going on. I have no idea what kind of parents Paige has, so I’m not suggesting this is the case at all, but I’ve known many kids whose parents loved them to death but did not play an active role in their kids’ education. It is not inconceivable that his parents weren’t all that concerned with him being able to qualify for college until recently. Or perhaps didn’t realize that Foley offered the ability to add more credits. It’s not a question as to whether Foley will be better for him academically — they offer him two extra credits toward qualifying than he can get at his former high school — so that’s not even up for debate.
          I don’t believe anyone has suggested that Pruitt’s interest has been anything but getting a good player into Alabama to play football, but that doesn’t mean there’s anything wrong with him suggesting to the kid how he can get qualified. It’s been thrown at me repeatedly here that I need to consider what I would think of this if it was anyone but Alabama, but I would encourage you and others to consider what you would think if you swapped out the name Jeremy Pruitt with Todd Grantham.
          As for the distance, that’s the distance between the two schools, not the distance between his home and either one, or what’s more important — the distance between where his parents work and the schools. I don’t know if they own their home or not. If they rent, it’s an easy move because they don’t have to change jobs, they just have to make sure their only residence (they may not maintain their former residence as a rental property) is located in the Foley school district.

          • adam

            Your argument has seemingly changed from “he doesn’t read very well so he’s transferring to a better school which will somehow manage to teach a 17 year old how to read well enough to get into the flagship university in the state of Alabama” to “he has the opportunity at this other school to get some more credits so that he can qualify”. Maybe that’s just my perspective.

            I also think that transferring to a school 37 miles from your current school is usually somewhat difficult to achieve. Let’s say a kid at Clarke Central HS here in Athens wanted to transfer to Collins Hill HS (a much better HS academically that is about 35 miles away) for the academic benefits. His folks may work in Winder or Lawrenceville or some other city in between the two schools. That sounds like a comparable [hypothetical] situation. From the little I know about school districts and all that crap, I don’t think that kid would be able to transfer. If one of our coaches suggested he do so, I would wonder why and I would also wonder about the feasibility of that suggestion.

            You seem like a smart enough guy, and I’m pretty tired. I’m not trying to be insulting, just candid. So if anything is coming across that way, please realize that that’s not my intent. That said, it does seem like you’re giving Bama the benefit of the doubt in this situation. Maybe I’m too cynical, but your arguments so far seem to be tinged with either homerism or naïveté. Maybe you just have more faith in people than I do. Personally, it seems strange for a football coach to be suggesting that this kid transfer schools. We all seem to agree that the coach doesn’t have his best interests at heart. He’s suggesting that for purely selfish reasons (or has ulterior motives at best). However, if this sort of thing were common, then why would a guidance counsellor or a parent have come up with this idea? I realize that his motives don’t necessarily mean that something sinister is happening. But they certainly justify additional scrutiny.

            • Always Someone Else's Fault

              It depends on the district. Baldwin County, like all systems, has its own rules, and if they’re not following them in this case, then I suspect a lot of people who want to transfer but can’t will howl. Ultimately, it all comes down to the local school board’s policy and the taxpayers in the county.

              We do know this: Foley’s rivals will be making sure i’s are dotted and t’s are crossed on the transfer, and the people at Foley will know a lot of people are watching. If something crooked were in the offing, it won’t be happening now.

            • I have never suggested anything about the kid’s level of intelligence or the quality of the schools (those things have been suggested, just not by me). The fact remains that the school Coach Pruitt (of Alabama) recommended he attend (a key point: it was recommended, it was not arranged) offers eight credits in a year, two more than he can get at his former high school, which will benefit his ability to qualify. Also, I would suggest he does have the kid’s best interests at heart, since qualifying for college is in his best interest. It’s a convenient intersection of interests, but it exists nevertheless. I think it’s fair to say that if Coach Richt had made the same suggestion, his saintly reputation would send millions to his defense (not suggesting he doesn’t deserve his reputation). Same action, but the characterization of the man making it is the difference, which makes this all the more amazing, since I would wager that prior to today, none of you had ever heard of Jeremy Pruitt, much less know what kind of man he is.

              There also seems to be the suggestion here that the NCAA is choosing to turn a blind eye, but it needs to be considered, no coach at Alabama has actually been accused of doing anything wrong, and it’s not wrong in any sense, either according to NCAA bylaws, or in the sense of doing what’s ethical. If transferring to Foley enables the kid to get the credits he needs to qualify to go to college, that is a positive thing, and try as we might to cast it as something else, it’s all speculation based on the fallacy that Alabama has a reputation of recruiting on the edge, this is something Alabama has done in recruiting, therefore this is on the edge. Heck, if Mark Bradley had written this article, I’m not sure I would even have to comment here because the Senator would probably be defending him for me.

              As for the difficulty of transferring to a school in close proximity, it’s not so difficult in this case because the schools are in different states (Pensacola and Foley are extremely close to the state line). I live in Chattanooga and see that kind of transfer often between kids in Tennessee and Georgia, where the parents will move what is only a couple miles from their previous home, but have to send their kids to a different school even though they may actually be physically more proximate to the school directly across the state line.

              • adam

                I’d say that assuming everything is on the up-and-up is as much speculation as the alternative.

                And it would seem to me (logically, I mean) that attending a school in a state of which you are not a resident would be more difficult. Though those rules often defy logic. I also wouldn’t consider 37 miles “close proximity” in a situation like this. Doesn’t mean anything weird is going on other than a football coach suggesting that a student with whom he has no prior relationship transfer to a school he picked.

                I’m sure he says he didn’t set anything up. Doesn’t mean he didn’t make a phone call. Doesn’t mean that someone he knows didn’t set it up as a favour.

                Again, from my perspective, it seems like a large leap of faith to consider this all squeaky clean and perfectly ethical. It’s at least somewhat strange and Bama does have a certain reputation with regard to recruiting – something you acknowledged.

                Maybe I made a mistake, misread, or incorrectly attributed an earlier comment to you when I responded to you the first time. I’m commenting on my phone, so it’s difficult to check. I was fairly certain that you made comments about the test scores being much better at Foley and the student having the opportunity to get a better education. That would imply something about the difference in the two schools. I also saw someone say that his English scores were very low or he had trouble reading. There are lots of comments, so if I attributed something to you incorrectly, I apologise.

                The point remains that the situation is uncommon (at least in the news) and that merits discussion and prompts speculation. I think it’s justified.

                One last thing – it’s incorrect to say that the coach has the student’s best interest at heart here. I’m referring to their motives. The kid wants to go to college. The coach wants to get a good football player. The kid wants to get his grades up. The coach wants a football player. Their motives are different. Just because they follow the same path in this case doesn’t mean anything. That’s just the nature of these situations. The coach isn’t suggesting he change schools so that he can make good grades and be successful in life. That may be an outcome, but it’s not his motive. He just wants a football player.

                • adam

                  I see I was attributing some of Always Someone Else’s Fault’s argument to you. My mistake!

                  • Always Someone Else's Fault

                    Just to be clear on something…

                    By federal law, schools are tested out the wazoo – and the results are posted on-line, year by year, demographic group by demographic group. If one school has 50% students reading below federal minimum levels and 60% on free lunch, while another has 4% reading below federal minimums and 10% on free lunch, those differences correlate (not cause, but correlate) the most strongly with academic achievement. No other evaluative criteria even comes close.

                    It’s the exact same difference between Vandy and Georgia State. Both are excellent schools with motivated staffs and students – but they are not equivalent educational experiences.

                • AthensHomerDawg

                  You did all that on your phone and at 1 am ….. you got skills sir.

          • Erskine

            I read your initial stance as the coach’s motives was purely for the benefit of the kid’s eductation. I think we agree that the kid’s overall well being is not remotely a concern for Coach Pruitt. Coach Pruitt is esstentially saying I will do whatever it takes and go further than any other coach to get you to bama. WHATEVER IT TAKES, think about that for a second and tell me if it sits well with you. Coach Pruit is concerns with the kid’s 4 year career at bama, beyond that he does not have time for that sh*t. Therein lies the slimy part of the issue. Is it wrong, no not by current standards, neither was Reverend Newton’s whoring his child. Yet that somehow did not & does not sit well with 95% of college football fans.
            I can say with 100% confidence the intergrity of my University is far more important than the outcome on Saturdays in the fall. I recognize this is a minority opinion out here.
            So if the names are switched I would consider it equalling demeaning to any University. If the university of alabama allows these same practices when recruiting all students then institutionally, I would say it is fine. But if physics or political science professors do not extend the same opportunity when recruiting students into there programs, the football only practice give the appearance, football first, second & third, eductional after that. Such standards will not add any value to a bama degree.

            • Do you see what you did there? You made the assumption that his reasoning was to DO WHATEVER IT TAKES, and then you extend doing whatever it takes into things he’s never been accused of, you build up this straw version of Pruitt and then attack that. It’s tantamount to me saying, “Coach Richt didn’t punish Branden Smith because he wants him to play football. Clearly, he will do WHATEVER IT TAKES to make sure he beats Mizzou. And if he’s willing to do WHATEVER IT TAKES to beat Mizzou, then clearly, he doesn’t care about anything but winning football. Therein lies the slimy part of not suspending Branden Smith.’
              Not one person here has actually stated anything that is wrong. All they’ve done is taken a situation that a local newspaper is trying to make into a story, rolled into it all the spurious things they want to believe about Alabama, played the what-if game with it all and somehow come up with this horrible version of events that not even the actual accusers are saying happened. Like with the example below. You’ve cast Pruitt as the Simon Legree of college recruiting, but when pointing out Coach Richt’s zealous efforts to get Houston eligible (at a position in desperate need of depth for the Dawgs), well that’s just his humanitarian side looking out for the poor kid (to be fair, you didn’t make that comparison, but since we’re creating straw men here, you get to wear the same hat as your fellow fan, Debby Balcer).
              Dawg Fan: “Officer, that man over there was driving really fast.”
              Officer: “Radar says he was legally within the speed limit.”
              Dawg Fan: “Still, he has Alabama plates. Probably should go ahead and give his date a rape kit. Something dirty is going on here.”
              Officer: “He was just driving down the same road a lot of people drive.”
              Dawg Fan: “Maybe so, but why is he driving down that road?’
              Officer: “Because he’s trying to go somewhere and it’s faster than walking?”
              Dawg Fan: “Exactly. Better check his trunk for the body.”
              Officer: “What body?”
              Dawg Fan: “How should I know? You’re the cop. But I guess you’re not even going to look because Alabama gets away with whatever they want.”
              Officer: “There’s Mark Richt driving at the same speed, should I sto–”
              Dawg Fan: “Oh of course you’re going to arrest him. He didn’t even do anything but the Bulldogs can’t even go to the men’s room without someone standing behind them with a cup. “

              • Erskine

                See what you did there you made an example that is not apples to oranges. The players sited in your example were already accepted by the University without any extra assistance needed, therefore any comparsion of the two is not addressing the issue.

                How is it that Coach Pruitt is the only one to stick his neck out, further than any other coach? Is that an assumption or fact? Is there a reason no one else thought of this tactic? Possibly an ethical line maybe? Coach Pruitt enticed the young man & his parents to make educational decisions, they were unable to make on their own within the past 10 years, is that an assumption or a fact? Is Coach Pruitt offering something to the young man heretofore unmentioned and unavailable, fact or assumption? Based on the public information to date, the tables tilts to the these being fact. If not then it would not be a story to begin with. But the debate would not continue if this was as clean cut as you appear to think or would like it to be. You can play the what if and assumption card all you want to muddy the water but any discussuion of integrity would have to start with those questions. I get it you don’t want to go there. You would be naive to think that an educationally disadvantaged kid would interpret such additional attention being prsented by a football caoch would not hint that the same coach would continue to go the extra mile to do whatever it takes to grant his wishes. It is an old story line played out yearly,
                Don’t prasie Coach Pruit in one breath for the extra attention showed to a recruit and then dismiss the premise that it implies something more can be gianed the next.

                • Your entire argument is based on the false premise that Coach Pruitt went “the extra mile.” I’ve made no representation that Pruitt did anything extra for Paige. Heck, I didn’t even praise him for it, other than to remark that NCAA expert John Infante said it was “commendable.” What he did is not extraordinary. it happens all the time and the only thing that sets this occasion apart from all the others is that a couple of high school coaches who lost a quality starter from their football team and had the academic reputation of their school impugned didn’t understand the rules and so they decided to tell a local paper what happened. There is not a single rational reason to believe Pruitt has done more than what has been exposed, and so far in this thread, it’s required casting a coach you’ve never heard of before as this heartless mercenary hellbent on breaking whatever rules necessary to land a 3-star player at a really deep position for his team.

                  • Erskine

                    Based on your stance this is not an NCAA violation and we do not have 100% of the facts do you equally support Cecil Newton & Jerry Sandusky in there innocents? We should be able to agree that the young man in quesito nwas presented an opportunity by a Coach. You appear to believe Coach Pruit is such a recruiting genius that he is the only one to think of this strartegy

                    • tidefanintn

                      To the contrary. I’ve been consistent in stating I do not believe he is the only one to do it. You’re going to have to explain to me the similarity you’re drawing to Sandusky and Newton because both were accused of violating very real laws and Sandusky has been convicted of them. Neither of those conditions apply here.

                    • Erskine

                      Based on your stance this is not an NCAA violation and we do not have 100% of the facts do you equally support Cecil Newton & Jerry Sandusky in there innocences? We should be able to agree that the young man in question was presented an opportunity by a Coach that was not presented to him by any other coach. You appear to believe Coach Pruit is such a recruiting genius that he is the only one to think of this strategy. if you do not then explain why other Coaches did not employ the same tactic? Do you believe Coach Pruit simply made the statement go transfer to another school, in response to the eligibility concerns? No, Coach Pruit went so far as to provide a specific high school the young man could transfer to? Why do you suppose this high school was the only school name given? Doesn’t Coach Pruit have a vested interest in this, (absolutely yes), if so it would be consistent to think his recommendation for school transfer would be to one that he has favor with. If you cannot follow this premise them I guess
                      you would have to think Coach Pruit has left the kid twisting in the wind to
                      take the challenge on all by his self.
                      I have never stated we should burn coach Pruit at the stake. But I also am not naive enough to think that there needs to be some questions to examime the smoke or put out the fire.

                    • Your comparisons to Sandusky and Newton have no way of being addressed in any way that isn’t just as absurd as the question, so with apologies, I’m going to move on to the rest.

                      Regarding thinking Pruitt is a genius who has come up with a novel approach to addressing the issue, I’ll have to say, no, I don’t believe he is. I believe he’s only demonstrated that he has as much knowledge as anyone with five minutes and access to google would have. It’s his job to know the high schools he recruits, and he recruits Foley, too. Foley is very close and offers only a negligible lifestyle change for the family (They don’t have to change jobs, churches, or where they shop). It doesn’t take a genius to figure out a no-brainer. As far as why he’s the only coach to do so … um, a kid who has committed to Alabama is going to struggle to qualify. Do you as an opposing coach figure out a way to help him get into Alabama, or do you recommend a good JUCO where he can go instead of Alabama so you can re-recruit him again in a few months? It took me less than 30 seconds to figure that out and I’m not a recruiter.

                      I’m going to take one more crack at an analogy here. By your reasoning, when Coach Richt sought permission to attend that kid’s graduation last year, that should have been an immediate red flag that Coach Richt was doing all kinds of illegal things, because he was the first to try to attend a graduation. What you’re doing is the very definition of a witch hunt. He’s been accused of absolutely nothing outside the bounds of the law. You’re wanting to have him investigated for knowing the law better than someone else? I know the Senator is not a criminal lawyer, but I’d bet he could tell you that would get laughed out of court before the defendant even had to hire a lawyer. That’s not naivete on my part, it’s just common sense.

                    • Or let me put it a completely other way: why would he cheat when there is absolutely no reason to do so? All of the perfectly obvious and exhaustively stated reasons are more than adequate to accomplish the task. Cheating would just be superfluous.

  9. Scott W.


    It is not there [sic] job — nor should it be anyone’s — to keep digging and digging until they do find something wrong, just because someone suggested someone did something unethical and it was proven that it wasn’t.

    I dunno, let’s ask AJ Green.

    • Forgive my grammar. I injured my back and the painkillers have … umm … loosened my concentration. As for AJ Green, I’m assuming that most of the commentariat here — myself included — would agree that the NCAA overpursued there.

  10. WarD Eagle

    I was laughing about the whole thing until I heard AU has a kid whose high school guidance counselor was just fired for providing a fake transcript.

    • What’s the connection? Are you suggesting the grades were changed by request of an Auburn coach?

      I don’t think anyone believes academic abuse doesn’t happen to the benefit of future college athletes. But the issue the Senator is raising here is the potential for creating a new avenue that has potential for abuse. What happened in Memphis is more of a traditional approach ;)

  11. shane#1

    The incentive for abuse is directly related to the amount of money involved in college athletics. A five star recruit in Ga. transfers to a HS in Auburn after his Mom leases a house there. The kid was leaning toward ‘Bama but flips to Auburn. Then it is discovered that a four star Auburn freshman’s grades were altered by someone at his HS. After Camscam this stinks to high heaven. Now the Alabama kid’s transfer is raising eyebrows. With that being said Saban is one of the best I have seen at staying in the grey area and not stepping over the line. Is Auburn that smart?

    • WarD Eagle

      How much is Rodney Garner being paid these days?

      • Careful now. I believe Trooper Taylor is still wearing a backwards orange and blue cap.

        • Derek

          Tidefan, what strikes me initially is any effort to obtain the admission of a kid who could not maintain eligibility as a high school junior. Doesn’t sound like college material to me but perhaps the standards are different at t-town. So the first issue is why is bama interested in having this “challenged” student on campus? Is it because he has better chance of helping you beat Arkansas than he has at actually taking advantage of the opportunities his size And talent offer? In short, isnt the story that you and your school is a facade whose only necessity is to provide a platform for a professional team in Alabama because no league is interested? More to the point isn’t the tide nation merely a bunch of scumbags who give a damn about anything except the numbers on the scoreboard. You figuratively rape recruits in order to offer their schollys to others and the yank schollys of prior signees in order to make room for new players. You act like scum so don’t get defensive when we jump to the obvious com liaison that you are being scum in this instance.

        • WarD Eagle

          Are there any Trooper Taylor violations more severe than any Nick Saban violations?

          • tidefanintn

            I have no idea. I’m only pointing out that people in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones at Rodney Garner.

      • shane#1

        Probably about what AU paid him under the table. Oh crap, I’m in a crossfire here!

  12. How many kids who aren’t gifted atheletes have been given this type of treatment? I wouldn’t be suprised to eventually smell a rat. The NCAA is showing their usual selective non-concern. Alabama will probably be OK as long as they don’t give the kid a T shirt.

    • I would bet very, very few kids who aren’t gifted athletes have been given this type of treatment. Coach Pruitt is doing this because he wants the kid to play football at Alabama. But it’s interesting that in all of the rush to judge the heartless machine that is Alabama football, no one has mentioned Nick’s Kids, the foundation started by coach Saban and his wife whose purpose is to … wait for it … work with underprivileged children and their teachers to make sure they are getting the best education opportunities available to them. I’m not suggesting Paige is just another one of Nick’s Kids. I just enjoy the characterizations of these coaches — including the one impuning Rodney Garner — who can only think of these guys in black and white terms instead of like the human beings they are. It’s entirely possible that Pruitt feels justifiably good about Paige getting the chance to get into college for reasons other than his job.

  13. Here’s a point for Bulldog fans to consider. Remember the outrage last week over Kolton Houston’s ineligibility being upheld? At what point did you question Richt’s motives for his ardent defense of Houston and state, “Well, coach Richt is only doing it because he wants the kid to play football. He doesn’t have the kid’s best interests at heart. How many other non-football players are being helped with their false diagnoses?”

    • Debby Balcer

      False diagnosis even the NCAA agrees with the diagnosis. If Kolton does not get to okay he has no chance for the NFL so that is in his best interest. Coach Richt is keeping him on scholarship so he is looking out for Kolton’s best interest.

  14. Debby Balcer

    The okay not to okay

  15. AthensHomerDawg

    Thank you ladies and gentlemen. I thoroughly enjoyed the discussion. “That was totally wicked!”

    • Cojones

      You turkey! You made me review every poster for your input. Your scratchy little two sentences beat mine by a half sentence. I think we both saw the talking points became ephemeral at best.

      God. Will kickoff never get here?

  16. Altruism just scored again.

  17. mike from florida

    Why do I think that if the kid was an AUBURN commitment and was doing the exact same thing, the Alabama fans responding on this blog would be all over it as an egregious example of cheating?