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Saban says Tide will offer four-year scholarships

Posted on: February 29, 2012 12:45 pm

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

Alabama was one of 30 BCS conference schools to recently vote against NCAA legislation that would allow -- though not mandate -- schools to offer multiple-year scholarships over the previous system of annual scholarship renewals. And the Tide football program had declined to offer them this past February, with Nick Saban citing lawsuits issued during the previous era of multiple-year scholarships as reason for the program's opposition.

Despite that stance, Saban told the Tuscaloosa News in a Tuesday story that the Tide would join Auburn and Florida (and, with the legislation's survival of the override vote, likely the rest of the SEC) in offering four-year scholarships starting with the 2013 class.

"We're going to offer four-year scholarships," Saban said. "Our whole conference is going to do it, all the schools, I think. And we're happy to do it."

Though we're skeptical a program truly "happy" to offer four-year scholarships would instead vote to prevent anyone from offering those scholarships, themselves included, Saban again referred to the legal ramifications when explaining the opposition of "some of the schools."

"We had the (four-year) rule years ago, and there were legal challenges to it," Saban said. "So we changed to the one-year scholarship then. I think that was why some of the schools had concerns." 

A four-year scholarship would conceivably make it more difficult for Saban to oversign in February and then "cut" players afterwards -- the Tide have seen widespread departures between spring practice and the start of fall camp each of the last several years under Saban -- but he forcefully denied either cutting players or that the new scholarships would have any impact on that issue at any school.

"We don't cut players," Saban said. "I don't know anyone who does. So I don't think that's an issue ... The player will still have to be academically eligible. He will still have to obey team rules and regulations. And the player is still going to have the same rights and the same appeals process that he has now."

Saban is entirely correct that just because School X has committed its four-year promise in writing doesn't mean Player Y is going to be able to skate through four years of school without worrying about the consequences. (He's also right that this could conceivably lead to some legal appeals here and there.) But given the ease with which schools have dismissed players on one-year scholarships in the past -- it's surprising to hear Saban say he "doesn't know anyone" who cuts players, given that SEC West rival Bobby Petrino declined to renew the scholarships of five different players just last year -- we disagree that nothing has changed.

Even if having a promise of four years' worth of education in writing is still just a promise, that's more commitment from their new schools than those players have gotten before.

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Since: Sep 8, 2011
Posted on: March 1, 2012 2:54 pm

Saban says Tide will offer four-year scholarships

Right...because Auburn is doing so well in recruiting. Not.

Since: Oct 23, 2009
Posted on: March 1, 2012 2:47 pm

Saban says Tide will offer four-year scholarships

I always thought the schools offered 4 years scholarships
The old 4 year scholarship was dropped back when they reduced the Div 1A football scholarships to 85.  Coaches said they needed 1 year scholarships because a number of players who looked good in high school just couldn't compete in big time college football.  With fewer scholarships available, they wanted to be able to release some of those guys easier by simply not renewing their scholarships.  Under the 4 year scholarship, they could only cut guys for not making grades, for misbehavior, and for not following the team rules.

Since: Jan 5, 2007
Posted on: March 1, 2012 12:43 pm

Saban says Tide will offer four-year scholarships

can any of his players spell their name?

They spell their names about as well as Pitt players play not...

Since: Dec 2, 2009
Posted on: March 1, 2012 12:19 pm

Saban says Tide will offer four-year scholarships

To show you how ignorant I am (up until the last couple of years as oversigning etc has become a more talked about issue) I always thought the schools offered 4 years scholarships.  

I think this is a good thing for the student athletes and while causing some headaches for the schools can also be a good thing.  As some have stated schools will likely keep documentable evidence of minor violations in order to have ammunition to dump a player not performing on the field as expected levels.  This should help keep these youths in line.  It also provides some relief to an athlete that if they end up buried at 4th string, well at least they can get their education as long as they toe the company line without fear of losing their scholarship because some other hot recruit has come along.  A sense of security can go a long way.  

Having said that it can also be a bad thing for some of the same reasons.  Like everything in life there are tradeoffs, we'll just have to wait and see.


Since: Jan 5, 2007
Posted on: March 1, 2012 12:08 pm

Saban says Tide will offer four-year scholarships

They had to do this because Auburn was using it as a recruiting tool against them

Yeah, the way Auburn was ripping 'Bama a new a**hole in recruitng the past couple of years, especially this last signing class, 'Bama had to do something...haha

Since: Mar 3, 2009
Posted on: March 1, 2012 11:14 am

Saban says Tide will offer four-year scholarships

can any of his players spell their name?

Since: Aug 9, 2011
Posted on: March 1, 2012 7:01 am

Saban says Tide will offer four-year scholarships

 Yes, it is big business.
Really?  I thought it was about educating kids?  Man, this is still college, right?  It's pretty sad that business is more important than an education now--too bad they can't just automatically give all athletes an "A" anymore so they didn't have to worry about athletes not meeting academic requirements.  That sure must hurt business........


Since: Jan 8, 2008
Posted on: March 1, 2012 2:38 am

Saban says Tide will offer four-year scholarships

He will offer about 10 more than he has available too...


Since: Jul 11, 2011
Posted on: March 1, 2012 12:23 am

Saban says Tide will offer four-year scholarships

they will offer 4 year scholarships in water polo after their football stint is over

Since: Sep 25, 2006
Posted on: March 1, 2012 12:02 am

Saban says Tide will offer four-year scholarships

Holy !  What's up Andy?  Dude, everytime that I have said UAT in a post - you always have a quick reply.  You must have some sort of UAT filter (BTW - you left out UAH in your previous post.  Need to respect the tri-state system).

Back on topic - what's your take on this?  I figured that little Nickie was pressured to follow the SEC on the 4 year schollies.  Some said previously that he was pressured by AU.  (just don't see that being the deciding factor & I see it as more of a SEC push than a NCAA push)

Hope that life has been treating you & yours well and congrats on the NC this year.   

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