February 29th, 2012 10:25 AM║ Posted By: John Pennington ║ Permalink
║ Schools: Alabama
Tags: Cecil Hurt, LSU, NCAA, Tennessee Derek Dooley
Alabama’s Nick Saban — an opponent of the multi-year scholarship decision made official by a vote of NCAA presidents this month — is getting with the program. This week he told Cecil Hurt of TideSports.com that he’s suddenly gung-ho to hand out the longer pacts:
“We’re going to offer four-year scholarships. Our whole conference is going to do it, all the schools, I think.
And we’re happy to do it…
Most of the conditions are still the same. The player will still have to be academically eligible. He will still have to obey team rules and regulations. And he player is still going to have the same rights and the same appeals process that he has now…
We don’t cut players. I don’t know anyone who does. So I don’t think that’s an issue.”
Saban and other coaches might not cut players, but they do occasionally let them know that they’ll be receiving zero playing time if they remain on the team. In most cases, players want to play. So while that’s not “cutting,” it is “driving off.” And it’s still fully legal for coaches to drive off players in that manner.
Other coaches have been outspoken against the multi-year scholarship idea. Tennessee’s Derek Dooley voiced concerns last week. South Carolina’s Steve Spurrier called the idea a bad one last year at SEC Media Days. Overall, four schools — Alabama, LSU, Tennessee and Texas A&M — voted to override the multi-year scholarship rule but they were ultimately voted down.
Now those coaches and schools will have to offer four-year deals or else fall behind in recruiting to schools that do offer such pacts. So whether Saban, Dooley, Spurrier and others really like the rule or not… they’ll all soon be buying in and abiding by it. Saban’s just the first to say so.
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