“That’s why we have a medical staff.”

Pretty nifty juxtaposition here… start with Nick Saban’s response to the Wall Street Journal story about the number of medical redshirts that have come into play at Alabama:

“I didn’t really read the article. I didn’t see the article,” Nick Saban said when asked about the Wall Street Journal article Wednesday. “But we don’t make the decision about medicals. I have nothing to do with that. Those are medical decision made by our medical staff. I think we have one of the finest medical staffs in the country.”

Saban dismissed claims by his former players that the medical redshirts were given to clear roster spots for better players, claiming that there were legitimate medical reasons for what’s occurred.

“I don’t have any question about the fact every player we have given a medical to, it’s been because of the medical opinion of the medical staff,” Saban said. “Those guys should not continue to play football because it would put their future in tremendous risk.”

There you have it – the Devil medical staff made him do it!  (To be the only people in the entire state of Alabama that Nick Saban defers to… now that’s power.)

Anyway, keep that in mind as you read this next story.

… Mark Ingram and Marcel Dareus were verbal commitments 29 and 30 in Alabama’s 2008 recruiting class.  Let that sink in for a second – 29 and 30.  Dareus was a 3 star product out of the state of Alabama that was not highly recruited because of questions regarding his ability to qualify academically and Ingram was a 4 star out of Michigan who was being recruited by Michigan State and Iowa, but he too was a somewhat unrecruited player.  For all intents and purposes, neither of these guys were in the mold of Julio Jones, a 5 star in state recruit that everyone in the country wanted but who was a dead lock to go to Alabama and just waited until signing day to sign with Alabama.

Again, I don’t really have much of a problem with what Saban does.  It’s within the rules and it’s not like his methods are some big secret.  I’m just amused by the defense.


Filed under Nick Saban Rules

20 responses to ““That’s why we have a medical staff.”

  1. Champ

    I wonder sometimes how there philosophy, and most other SEC schools, apposed to UGA’s recruting philosophy negatively affects us. Notice every year we sign less than 25 and usually get 20 to say 22 out that. Think about these schools pulling in an extra 3 to 5 players each year. I’d think that would significantly help their depth. Personally I agree with not offering more spots than you have but I just wonder if it is a factor on our roster sometimes.

  2. Jaybird

    Nick Saban is a college coach that runs his “organization,” his words, not mine, like an NFL team. Yes, he’ s within the rules on this one, but not the “spirit” of the rules. He will soon have another Saban Rule in his honor.

    • Bryant Denny


      Over-signing was not illegal at the time. Heck, even Mike Shula over-signed a bit. Didn’t hear anyone crying about that.

      The NCAA allows 25 scholarships per year, yet only allows 85 on scholarship at a time. Wow – it’s as if they expect attrition.

      Scholarships are a one year commitment by the school, not a four year guaranteed education. Back in the day, I had a scholarship. Had I not kept my grades up I would have been adios.

      It seems reasonable to me to have 28 commitments or so and then have a couple not qualify, etc.

      Greyshirting is also not illegal and those count toward the total commitments. Heck, maybe y’all ought to ask why a kid would defer his enrollment just to play football at a particular school. Maybe the answer is the kid really wants to play there and will do whatever it takes to play there.

      Also, it makes no sense to compare this to the AJ situation. AJ KNEW he was violating the rules but did it anyway. Greyshirting, oversigning, etc., as many of you note above, perfectly legal.

      Anyway, have a good day,


    • Bryant Denny

      Sorry Jay – didn’t mean to put all that under your post.

      • Mayor of Dawgtown

        That’s the problem BD. It’s not illegal but it probably is immoral, at least. It also is against the spirit of the game which is to provide competition between student athletes. If you do not see something wrong with recruiting a kid to play for you then taking away his scholarship just because a better player comes along, then I guess you must be a Bama fan (i.e. ethically challenged). But you are right about one thing. Technically it is not against the rules. So unless the NCAA changes the rules, I advocate that UGA do the same and oversign and grayshirt. I hate it but when something puts your team at a competitive disadvantage you have to fight fire with fire. That said, the “medical redshirt” thing is a smoking gun. If the NCAA has any balls at all Bama is going back on probation and is going to lose scholarships.

        • Bryant Denny


          Why should the NCAA put the Tide back on probation if they’ve done nothing wrong? You guys admit that it’s not against the rules?

          Related to the “medical redshirts” medical doctors – with a higher code of ethics than football coaches🙂 – are signing off on these things. Also, where are these “medical redshirts” playing after they leave Bama? If they were not injured, doesn’t it seem likely that they would go play somewhere else?

          Related to the immoral accusation…I’m open to arguments on this. Heck, I could be wrong. But, just because other programs aren’t doing something, that doesn’t make it immoral or unethical. It could be that instead of getting the job done, some folks like to complain about how other folks work.

          Have a good one,


          • Mayor of Dawgtown

            The “medical redshirt/medical disqualification” thing is a violation of the limit on the number of players a program may have on scholarship at one time imposed by NCAA rules. Using a crooked doc (and yes there are some of those around) to write false reports that say a player has a career ending injury when he does not or that say he is injured and cannot play this season when that is not true are VIOLATIONS of NCAA rules. Now that this has come out publicly I would be very surprised if the NCAA doesn’t take action. We are, after all, talking about a program with a long history of violations and which was banned from postseason, lost scholarships had to forfeit 21 wins this past decade. It appears that the violations are intentional and orchestrated by the head coach himself. Plus he’s lying about it. “Don’t do the crime if you can’t do the time.” Bama will be lucky not to get the death penalty.

  3. BenG

    Medical redshirt or medical disqualification?

    • Technically, I think it’s called a redshirt, since the player remains on scholarship. It just doesn’t count against the NCAA limit.

      • BenG

        This is what I thought these terms meant.

        Medical redshirt – player gets injured after a *small amount* of play and is allowed to redshirt in the year of injury, even though they played. Player counts toward cap. (Trinton Sturdivant, 2008.)

        Medical hardship – player is granted an extra year of eligibility after multiple missed seasons due to injury. Player counts toward cap. (Trinton Sturdivant, 2009, though he hasn’t decided to request it.)

        Medical disqualification – after repeated or serious injury, player is allowed to stay on scholarship without counting toward the cap but forfeits all future eligibility. (Quinton Banks, 2010.)

        • BenG

          Scratch Trinton 2008. I forgot that injury was during fall camp. See Jeff Owens, 2008, instead.

        • Mayor of Dawgtown

          Thanks for the clarification BenG. I’ll bet that Saban is doing both “medical redshirts” AND “medical disqualifications” to manage the number of players on his roster.

  4. Macallanlover

    I have no problem with the legality of him doing it either, I feel a differently about the morality of it though ( I know, it’s just bidness.) What I do havean issue with is the lack of institutional control by the NCAA. They have silly, really stupid rules about things that defy common sense (helping an athlete get home to a funeral, buying a person a lunch at McDonald’s when they have no money, prohibiting flying a rival player’s father from Iraqto see his son play a big game, etc.) but do not have a limit on how many times a school can play around with/offer a “medical” redshirt?

  5. Irishdawg

    Screw the NCAA with a tetanus-drenched bayonet. AJ selling his own property is worthy of ruining his season but this bullshit like grayshirting and oversigning is OK? That is garbage.

  6. Will Trane

    Senator you are the Matt Drudge and WSJ of Dawg information. The top! Great work! Thanks!

  7. Turd Ferguson

    Like most, I think Nick Saban’s a douche in just about every conceivable way. But … there’s a part of me that almost wouldn’t mind seeing Georgia do a little over-signing in the next couple years, in order to, perhaps, correct some of our personnel issues as quickly as possible. Oh well.

  8. BBQB

    If you haven’t read the WSJ article in its entirety, I’d encourage you to do so. The headline is misleading at best, as the article quotes 3 different former UA players of which only 1 (Kirschman) states that he felt pressured to take a medical scholarship. Hoke stated the exact opposite, that he felt the situation was handled appropriately. Griffin said he was disappointed that he didn’t reach his potential, and apparently felt so betrayed that he decided to remain on staff as a student coach.

    If there are other/numerous UA players being pressured to take these scholarships then the article didn’t cite them (by name or anonymously). Ultimately it’s the player’s decision to accept the scholarship or choose to play elsewhere.

  9. Hobnail_Boot

    I’ve got no problem with it and I wish UGA signed 28 a year. Lord knows, at least 4 or 5 of them are gonna be scooter-riders.

  10. This is just another example of how Richt, unfortunately, does not have a hand on every detail of the program. This is why Richt cannot compete with Saban, Meyer, etc.

    We don’t take away scholarships from underperforming players, and we don’t oversign. As a result, we have a serious lack of depth, and injuries completely gut us.