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Sims’ HS Coach Explains QB’s Decision To Leave Alabama

On Friday, it was announced that backup quarterback Phillip Sims would transfer from Alabama.  This just a year after competing with and eventually losing out to AJ McCarron for the starter’s job… a job McCarron did pretty well with considering that whole BCS Championship thing.

In the statement, Sims thanked Nick Saban and the Crimson Tide staff before assuring everyone that his decision to leave was “nothing more than a personal matter” and that he needed “to be closer to home to support my family at this time and that needs to be my priority right now.”

On Monday, news emerged that Sims would land at Virginia — in his home state — and that he might apply for an NCAA waiver that would allow the redshirt sophomore-to-be to play immediately.  Well, as far as that possible waiver goes, Sims had better hope NCAA officials don’t read The Virginian-Pilot newspaper.  It seems that even before Sims was tipping his hand about enrolling at Virginia, his old high school coach, Richard Morgan, was already talking about why his former protege was really leaving Tuscaloosa:


“McCarron still has two years of eligibility.  If it was the case where (McCarron) was a senior and Phillip had to sit one more year and then have two years, he wouldn’t leave.  Let’s face it, they did win the national championship.  So you’re not going to bench the quarterback who won the national title.  And (Sims) doesn’t want to sit because he feels he’s just as good.  So he has to go somewhere where he can play.”


D’oh!  That won’t help Sims’ cause.  But Morgan wasn’t done.  He also suggested that his old QB didn’t get a fair shake at Bama because he wasn’t actually a born and bred Bama boy:


“If it’s a close competition between an in-state guy and an out-of-state guy, the in-state guy is getting the job.  Phillip was in a situation where I thought he was the better quarterback, but he was the out-of-state guy.  That’s just the way it works in college.”


No it isn’t.  Here’s how it works in college:


* Coaches do anything they can to lure in the top prospects from across America to their schools.

* Coaches then invest time and energy prodding their signees to invest time and energy to make themselves the best players they can possibly be.

* Finally, with millions of dollars in salary riding on their win/loss records, coaches pick the very best guys at each position to help them win more games and earn more cash.


Saban is viewed by many as the most cold, business-like, pro-style coach in the college game.  If any coach were going to err on the side of playing the homegrown product over a better player, it would not be Saban.  But we don’t believe any coach would go that route.

Parents and ex-coaches often make these types of claims when their guy loses out in a position battle.  ”They wanted the local kid.”  ”The other kid’s family gives more money to the university.”  Read a messageboard, you’ll see the claims.

But the reality is that coaches have to win.  Bottom line.  End of story.  So if a coach thinks Mahmoud Ahmadinejad would give him a better chance at victory than his own blessed mother, you can bet the Iranian president would be tops on the depth chart.

Unfortunately for Sims, his coaches’ sour grapes are now being attached to his name.  Worse, his coaches’ comments about why Sims is really transferring might force his former pupil to spend a waiver-less year on the pine in Charlottesville.



I wish the kid the best. The few times I saw him run the offense, he looked kinda shakey. Ely will be the next great QB. 


I can't blame Sims at all for wanting to transfer.  He's only one year behind McCarron so there's not going to be much opportunity for him going forward.  He's a great talent and I figured he would end up playing in VA somewhere.  With that said, anyone could see in the early games last year when Saban was giving auditions to both McCarron and Sims that McCarron was playing better ball.  Sims is very talented, but McCarron had the benefit of being in the system one year longer and I'm sure that made the difference.  No reason at this point to think that Sims is a LOT better than McCarron and would therefore overtake him at some point in the future so transferring is probably a good idea for someone of Sims level.  I wouldn't take his HS coach's word as though he were speaking for Sims though.  I'm sure Sims didn't want anyone saying he was transferring for playing time.

John at MrSEC
John at MrSEC moderator



Should the coach's word be taken as the players? No.

Will it be?  Yes, by many fans and media members.


Here's hoping the NCAA gives the kid his waiver. 


Thanks for reading,



Hey John - bet you had to look old Mahmoud's last name up to spell it right. I know I would. Good article and analysis.

John at MrSEC
John at MrSEC moderator



Heck, I'm lucky I spelled "Saban" right.  I'm King of the rushed typo.


Thanks for reading the site,


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