13 June 2008
Today, we've been name-checked by big league sports blog mgoblog
regarding our scholarship summary. After signing day, the fellows at mgoblog
and a couple of Bama blogs
got into a huge row. You'll probably want to explore our friend's hatred for coach Saban
before continuing. Despite claims to the contrary from our Michigan friends, we're not interested in pursuing a "second war of northern aggression."
We are, however, interested in pursuing this discussion a bit further.
We understand that the fact that the Big Ten has restrictions on the process
might cause our Michigan friends to cry foul. While chest-thumping about Lloyd Carr not oversigning, he neglects to mention that.
He also neglects to mention that brand new Wolverine Rich Rodriguez signed 34 players in 2002 and 32 in 2005. But Rich Rodriguez has always been an unassailable beacon of integrity
And while it's fantastic that Bruce Feldman
can quote an unnamed source from an unnamed university, it certainly shouldn't impugn Alabama; our compliance staff has certainly been ratcheted up in the last few years.
Finally, three guys referenced by mgoblog as guys who were "told they were cut and to take the scholarship and deal" were all given free rides to the University. It was also hinted at that we'd run off another without good reason soon. Well...
- BJ Stabler played extensively in 2007 (starting in 2 games, playing in 5 others). He struggled with injuries his entire career - multiple surgeries. Despite that, he started 9 games in 2006.
- Cody Davis would have likely played extensively last year, but was too hurt to participate.
- Charles Hoke played sparingly, but had a horrible back injury that sidelined him most of last year. Since he was already in grad school, he decided against continuing.
- Lionel Mitchell is hardly a scrub either. He started 7 games, played in 3 more. He missed one because of a discipline issue and one due to injury. It would be fair to say that since our secondary will be very green, it'd be nice to have him back.
So, let's play mgoblog's game and say we signed 25. What do we do about the 2 who are headed to Major League Baseball? What about the 4 who may not qualify? Is it better to offer a kid you know isn't going to show up on campus or better to let a kid have his moment in the sun and generate some positive PR for your school? The NCAA allows it, the conference allows it, why not?
Saban reasonably believed he'd run a few more off than he has. Not because he's a bad person or a bad coach or "evil" but because he's different. Change inevitably means people leave. Didn't you guys have an offensive lineman take off for another school? I suspect he won't be the last that's run off.
Until they move signing day back, there will never be an NCAA rule banning oversigning. Too many kids have eligibility still up in the air on signing day. I suppose you'd rather see those kids slinging burgers or bagging groceries than working hard to get eligible in the hopes of fulfilling an LOI?
A quick thought on the "Bryant Scholarship". If those players play, they count. Plain and simple.
Additionally, your use of Occam's Razor (while excellent for showing off your Big 10 education) is wrong. The simplest explanation is that Saban understood there would be reasons that his current team would shrink and that some of his signees would never make it to campus. Certainly, your vast conspiracy to remove players from the team via nefarious means and making sure players "don't get eligible" would be much more complex than that?
Finally, your "Bama-bots" ad hominem is uncalled for. There are a diversity of opinions within the Bama faithful (and even in this blog). It's fun to pretend we all use an outhouse and don't wear shoes, I know, but it's just not true. And, it's insulting for no particular reason.