Blog Entry

Saban chat with Sanders Jr. an NCAA violation?

Posted on: January 7, 2011 2:29 pm
Posted by Jerry Hinnen

Hey, remember when class of 2012 recruit Barry Sanders Jr. (yes, that Barry Sanders) told the world that Mark Ingram would be declaring publicly for the draft this week because Nick Saban had told him so? And then Ingram officially declared today and he was right? That was pretty cool, huh?

Maybe a little less cool for Alabama, since according to the same website that broke the original Ingram-to-turn-pro story, that conversation qualifies as an NCAA violation :
Such an extended conversation between Saban and Sanders [still a high school junior--ed.] is a potential violation of NCAA Bylaw, which states “Off-campus recruiting contacts shall not be made with an individual (or his or her relatives or legal guardians) before July 1 following the completion of his or her junior year in high school."

NCAA Bylaw 13.02.4 defines contact as “any face-to-face encounter between a prospective student-athlete … during which any dialogue occurs in excess of an exchange of a greeting. Any such face-to-face encounter that is prearranged or that takes place on the grounds of the prospective student-athlete’s institution … shall be considered a contact.”
This is the well-known "bump rule," which Saban has already been accused of stretching to its breaking point in the past. Though obviously the NCAA will take its time ruling on the incident one way or the other, the case would appear to be pretty cut-and-dried; the link above includes a photograph of Saban and Sanders having their conversation, and Sanders' comments about Ingram make it clear that, to quote the bylaw, "dialogue occurred in excess of an exchange of a greeting." That compliance officials at both Oklahoma and Oklahoma State were willing to go on the record as saying they would want the Tide's compliance department to examine the incident is a strong indication they believe a violation occurred.

Then again, nothing in the murky world of recruiting and recruiting bylaws is official until the NCAA says it is, and Saban has already publicly denied exchanging anything more than a greeting. Even if found guilty, Saban would only have committed a single secondary violation, at worst. Punishments are likely to be minimal regardless.

But if Saban is found guilty, he could be subject to the NCAA's recent decision to make suspensions available as a punitive measure for coaches committing secondary violations, and his reputation as a coach willing to ignore the exact rule he appears to be flaunting here might make him too juicy an example to pass on. (The NCAA could also impose limits on Alabam's recruitment of Sanders Jr., though it's highly debatable how much of an impact those would have in any case.) Don't expect anything to come of this other than a quietly self-reported violation on Alabama's part and the proverbial wrist-slap, if that, but it'll be a story worth following all the same.


Since: Dec 2, 2011
Posted on: December 22, 2011 9:53 am

Saban chat with Sanders Jr. an NCAA violation?

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Since: Oct 26, 2009
Posted on: January 7, 2011 8:01 pm

Saban chat with Sanders Jr. an NCAA violation?

Nope, not a violation.

All Saban did was talk about the status of players in general.     The fact that it was Mark Ingram only goes to show it had nothing to do with recruiting Barry Sanders Jr directly, because Mark would have been gone either way by the time Jr would have been eligible to come to Alabama.

If Ingram hadn't entered the draft today, then he would have been gone next year anyway.    So why would Saban be talking about Ingram in terms of recruiting him?   Simple answer:  He wouldn't.

He also goes on to mention Trent would be a senior when he came.    But everyone knows Richardson will be entering the draft himself next year, and will be among the top ranked RB, if not the top.   If Saban was trying to recruit the kid, then he would want to be mentioning things of that nature for a quicker playing time ploy.   But instead it's the opposite of that.

As such, it would appear Saban answered or talked about the general status of the team and players, which he is probably asked quite often, and Barry Sanders Jr applied it to himself.
Maybe there are more details than are mentioned, but based on what is said in this article and what else I've read about the "announcement" haven't shown anything more, and due to the Ingram factor have many people have wondered what the deal is about it.

Since: Nov 9, 2006
Posted on: January 7, 2011 4:45 pm

Saban chat with Sanders Jr. an NCAA violation?

No where in this article does it say that OU or OSU sought out the NCAA to comment on this topic. What it says is that both schools "were willing to go on the record as saying they would want the Tide's compliance department to examine the incident is a strong indication they believe a violation occurred." Meaning someone asked a question to their compliance people about the incident and ON THE RECORD they said they think the Tide's compliance office should review it.
So how is this OU and SU being "tattle tales"??

Yea it would be nice for Sanders to wear the orange and black like his dad did, but he is his own man. If you paid attention to either school you would see that either coaching staff couldn't give a damn about something this small. They are busy taking care of other things.

Since: Sep 20, 2010
Posted on: January 7, 2011 3:54 pm

Saban chat with Sanders Jr. an NCAA violation?

Oh man Oklahoma and Oklahoma State must surely be bored. Why didn't they call their mommas first so they could be really good "tattle tales". I think this makes those two schools look envious or something in that manner. Message to OK and OK State go win something big next year and stop looking like baby boys. Remember these remarks are to the coaching types and not the fans and players. Yeah I can understand that you think Sanders Jr is one of your own since like birth but go show Sanders, on the field, why he should go to OK and not the way that you are doing it. I just can't remember the long list of great football programs that owe it to getting other schools petty little penalties.

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