The header may have been what drew me into this article, but it’s the conclusion that grabbed me.
Should the SEC elect to completely open up its transfer policy, Saban not-so-playfully suggested the Crimson Tide would only be aided by such a move.
“We would benefit as much as anybody in our league if you said you can transfer. Kentucky’s got a good player? We’ll go see if we can get him to come to Alabama,” Saban said. “Why do we want that? Why do we need that? How does that help the integrity of what we’re trying to do as a conference or as a league? I’m not for having free agency in our conference.”
The man who had a rule named after Jonathan Taylor is whining about “the integrity of what we’re trying to do as a conference”? Don’t make me laugh.
Beyond that, what Saban is talking about there (“Kentucky’s got a good player? We’ll go see if we can get him to come to Alabama”) is tampering, potentially speaking. Somehow that strikes me as a much bigger threat to integrity than anything Maurice Smith wanted.
The reason Saban is up in arms about this is because his program has greater depth than any other team in the SEC, which means the odds that a loosening of the transfer rules leads to a net talent drain from ‘Bama are decent. That’s some shit Saban has time for.
Anybody think that his next step will be to manage his players’ academic progress to cut down the number of kids eligible for graduate transfers? The man does like to work those envelope edges.