Via the AJC, we get the awesome story of how oversigning rules are affecting Nick Saban and his notorious recruiting efforts. You see, in years past, Saban (or Houston Nutt, or a select few others in the SEC) would garner commitments from as many recruits as possible, regardless of how many scholarships were actually available. Then, when push came to shove, Saban would use any means necessary to get under the NCAA limit. He’d “grayshirt” players, stash them in jucos, and even yank the scholarship of players if need be. Now that the SEC has limited each school to signing 25 kids per class, weasels like Saban have to get creative.
Justin Taylor is a running back from North Atlanta High School that committed to Alabama in February. His commitment made him the seventh player to commit to Alabama for this recruiting class. Except Alabama doesn’t see it that way. To Saban and Alabama, Taylor is the 26th player committed, and that’s just one too many. So what do they want him to do? Sit a year. Not redshirt, not grayshirt, not go to a junior college, but literally sit. Stay home in Georgia and work a job, and then in January, they’ll have a spot for him with next year’s class. As a sign of Saban’s and Alabama’s commitment to Taylor, Saban is willing to sign “a piece of paper” to show that they’re keeping their word. Seems to me that keeping their word would be honoring the commitment and scholarship promises of the first 25 kids they recruited, not signing a worthless piece of paper. As for Alabama holding a spot for Taylor next year, this sums up my thoughts quite nicely. Nick Saban is a great football mind, and has one of, if not the most impressive college resume of the last 30 years. At the same time, however, he’s as sleazy as it gets.