Take a hint, son.

The Wall Street Journal takes a look at Alabama’s aggressive use of the medical scholarship rule or, depending on your point of view, the Tide’s bad run of luck with players who’ve suffered career-ending injuries.

Me, I can’t get too worked up about it – it’s within the rules and it’s not exactly a big secret at this point – but the illusion that it’s these players’ decision is pretty laughable.

… Mr. Griffin said that he was surprised last month when the football staff told him he had failed a physical. At that point, Mr. Griffin said, Mr. Saban sat him down and asked him what he wanted to do besides playing football. He said that Mr. Saban floated the possibility of a medical scholarship and asked if Mr. Griffin was interested in student coaching.

When God sits there and tells you to your face that it’s time to think about becoming a student coach,  it’s not hard to read between the lines about your future in Tuscaloosa.

(h/t Oversigning.com)


Filed under Nick Saban Rules

34 responses to “Take a hint, son.

  1. Hogbody Spradlin

    If the choice is either ride the pine or make room for someone else, and the victims get a full scholarship, it’s not a bad thing up to a point. Bama could be running players off by giving them the treatment. Remember Gary Shaw and “Meat on the Hoof”?

    At some point these medical scholarships become ersatz football scholarships and use becomes abuse. Of course the use does say something about how everything is subsumed to football at Bama. Who funds those medical scholarships?


    • The Realist

      The AA, from what I’ve heard.


    • 69Dawg

      No wonder Bama is doing great. Saban has managed to go back to the days when Bear would recruit players he knew would never play just to keep them from going some place else. Saban and Alabama have just refined the system. Recruit the kid see if he can play but if he can’t get a prostitute Doctor to declare him medically unable to perform. It’s genius.

      Once Alabama has more players on medicals than Vandy has players on scholarships the NCAA will do something.


  2. TennesseeDawg

    The medical scholarship is turning into the cut list.


    • The Realist

      Actually, there is a really-for-real cut list. This is the cut list for people that haven’t screwed up enough to be kicked off the team.


  3. macondawg

    I haven’t read the WSJ article yet (so maybe this is covered there), but my first reaction is to wonder where these players who “opt” for a medical scholarship are one year later. Hard to believe many can survive outside of a structured process designed to assure academic progress.


  4. Jaybird

    I’ve said it before, will say it again…Little Nicky is running an “organization” up there in Tuscaloosa, he even calls it that…bammer is getting exactly what it wanted….a coachbot that will do anything/everything to win…gotta give those bammer fans and the Red Elephant Club their money’$ worth….and keep that self worth out of the doldrums.


  5. JaxDawg

    “If you ain’t cheatin’, you ain’t tryin!”


  6. Will Trane

    Rammer jammer, yeller hammer. Bama football…they win and they have high rankings. Bet not many Bama alums are complaining about their program. Do their fans get up and leave in the 3rd quarter.

    Heard this one time: Look Sonny, it isn’t personal, it’s business.

    And speaking of production. How many TDs does Green have this season? How many does King have this season? How many does Chapas have this season? How many does Ealey have this season? How many missed blocks do the RBs have this season? How many receiving yards and rushing yards do any of those players have this season? One third in. Come Sunday mornin…it will be one fourth. Burning daylight are we?

    Will Rambo bite again, and get burned. Thought we had learned that lesson in game 1. Maybe the secondary will begin to play like those of UF and LSU.

    Learning aids on display this weekend. Bama defense. Florida’s defense. Boise’s offense. TCU’s offense. Watch and learn.


    • JaxDawg

      No one’s debating that AL’s program is better than ours now. And while I may not share all your bitterness, I’m certainly not pleased with our level of play.


    • Macallanlover

      Way to highjack the thread. Interesting, relevant discussion going on but you choose to jump up on the steamroller for another lap. If you have something new to say, please bring it forward, otherwise you are just another annoying horse fly that needs to be swatted. And at least put it in the right thread.


  7. Richt-Flair

    How big a swing in scholarship players each year does oversigning and cutting in the name of medical scholarship create for Bama? Seems a bit much. Maybe these medical schollies ought to be vetted by an NCAA-approved medical evaluation. But I guess they’re too busy punishing players selling their own personal property


    • tywebb)1

      The NCAA does review and approve each medical scholarship, thank you very much. Convenient of the WSJ to overlook that.

      /hasn’t read the article
      /assumes they did


  8. Russ

    I haven’t read the article (that’s what the Senator’s for, right? Am I right? Am I?), but I don’t really see the problem with it. It’s better than just booting them off the team.

    My only problem with any of these moves is when a team pulls a stunt like Precious at Tennessee and won’t let a player leave. If the school can pull a scholarship, the player should be able to do something similar and leave for another school.


  9. Bryant Denny

    Nice try, WSJ.

    How many of those players showed at another program and played?

    Each of those players quoted said it was their decision.


  10. Scorpio Jones, III

    Guys, guys…..The Boss’s security services have keystroke monitors…..some very dangerous stuff going on here……


  11. Go Dawgs!

    You know what? I want to win football games and I want to win football championships. But I don’t want to shake hands with the devil and sink to that level of sleaze. If Saban liked the NFL so much, he should have stayed there instead of bringing it back to college football.

    It’s win-at-all-costs at Alabama. Will Trane can call me whatever he wants, as can any of the other Dawg fans who are willing to sacrifice character for titles. I personally hope Georgia never goes there, we’re close enough to it already. I woke up Sunday morning after driving home from the Arkansas loss and the sun was still shining, I still had a family that loved me, and I was able to take the Monday morning co-worker ribbing without getting into a fight. It’s not life and death, kids.

    The letter of the law may not get broken in Tuscaloosa, but the spirit of the law is in locked in a closet somewhere and it gets daily beatings. Let it never be that way in Athens. Sorry if I’m not dedicated enough to victory.


  12. It’s probably no surprise I don’t have a problem with it, but I’ll point this out, too: none of the players mentioned ever played football again anywhere, and there is a distinct absence of mentioning Ezekiel Knight, whose case is inconvenient for the article: like Kirschmann, he screamed that it was unfair and that he could still play. Unlike Kirschmann, he didn’t accept a scholarship (in Kirschmann’s case, it meant he got a post-grad education in addition to the graduate degree that he earned while on football scholarship), but decided he still wanted to play football, so he tried transferring — but never found a single doctor who would say he passed the physical and could play.

    I would take any athlete’s word that he could play again with a grain of salt. They all do that. It’s the kind of drive that makes them college level athletes.

    I’m not saying there aren’t kids who could play, but won’t because of this, but I have a very difficult time feeling sorry for a kid who wasn’t going to see the field getting a free scholarship at any university. And I don’t feel sorry for other programs who cry “foul” when they can do the same thing which would actually benefit more student athletes.


  13. Macallanlover

    Not wanting to get into a spat with our well-behaved, and informed posters here (don’t have enough info even if I wanted to), let’s look beyond just Alabama here. The NCAA is on power surge these days, this issue and the over-signing “cousin” does seem to be a loophole. I know, there were some regulations about over-signing but there is still abuse. The WSJ putting the spotlight on this is turning up the temp in Kansas City where a new President is keen to make his mark. I think this issue becomes a hot one and gets addressed before next season, but probably not before Signing Day.

    Projecting an athlete’s skill set and development 4-5 years into the future when they are 18 is damned difficult. Anyone using a tactic like the one insinuated in the article would clearly have an advantage over schools who do not. I don’t know if there is a limit on how many times a school can do this, but establishing tighter guidelines, and a maximum number seems reasonable.


  14. Dawgfan17

    It is what it is but it does make you just shake your head when a coach that does this type thing then preaches about agents being pimps and all. I guess it is ok because he is looking out for their best interest while the agents are only looking out for themselves.


  15. BoWeevil

    I like it better the way Coach Richt’s “coaching staff” does it over here. Here, we tell everyone how damn great EVERY player is, then go 1-5 the last 6 SEC East games and 2-6 the last 8 SEC games, and give out SCHOLARSHIPS to walk-ons, none of whom have YET TO FREAKING play.