David Climer: Alabama's recruiting math doesn't add up

Alabama head coach Nick Saban speaks at a BCS National Championship college football game news conference Tuesday, Jan. 8, 2013, in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. Alabama defeated Notre Dame 42-14 Monday night to win the national championship. (AP Photo/Morry Gash)

Alabama head coach Nick Saban speaks at a BCS National Championship college football game news conference Tuesday, Jan. 8, 2013, in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. Alabama defeated Notre Dame 42-14 Monday night to win the national championship. (AP Photo/Morry Gash)

NASHVILLE - Alabama continues to lap the field in college football. The Crimson Tide dominates in the regular season, in the postseason and in recruiting.

And when it comes to scholarship numbers, nobody touches Alabama.

Reports surfaced last week that the defending national champion is an indefensible 10 over the scholarship limit, based on current players and recent signees.

The numbers are courtesy of CBSSports.com blogger Matt Hinton. He takes the number of players who were on scholarship in the 2012 season, subtracts graduating seniors and underclassmen who have declared for the NFL draft plus any others who have exited, and adds the number of signees in this recruiting class.

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Comments » 31

ClearVol writes:

Will the NCAA do anything about this? Prolly not, so lets move on and talk about something we CAN have an impact on..

OrangePride writes:

No, the NCAA will do nothing about this. Frankly, although it might be an ethical violation it isn't yet a statutory one. And you would think recruits would find this a good reason to good elsewhere, BUT, every kid Alabama goes after is a top line prospect who has ALWAYS been at the top and expects to stay there....even at Alabama. Their confidence in themselves and the chance to be part of these all-star classes is just what they feed on. Our task is to make Tennessee that kind of destination again...it was once. Of course, the NCAA could put a cap on total scholarships "at any time" being say 90 or so. But unless everyone complains, I doubt they will do anything.

LovinMyVols writes:

Saban taking advantage of recruiting rules? Shock. Suprise. (rolling my eyes).

CCLC writes:

in response to OrangePride:

No, the NCAA will do nothing about this. Frankly, although it might be an ethical violation it isn't yet a statutory one. And you would think recruits would find this a good reason to good elsewhere, BUT, every kid Alabama goes after is a top line prospect who has ALWAYS been at the top and expects to stay there....even at Alabama. Their confidence in themselves and the chance to be part of these all-star classes is just what they feed on. Our task is to make Tennessee that kind of destination again...it was once. Of course, the NCAA could put a cap on total scholarships "at any time" being say 90 or so. But unless everyone complains, I doubt they will do anything.

There is a cap and it is 85. Right now Little Nicky is not in violation of anything. When the season starts he will be in compliance at 85. Of the current 95 man roster 4 are already gone. Three that mugged the student on campus and another for some check cashing problem. That leaves 6 not unlike Vandy. Bama has 4 fifth years that haven't lettered yet. They will be convinced to leave. That leaves two. Those two will probably have a medical problem.
just sayin'

The_View_From_Memphis writes:

This practice has resulted in 2 straight NC's, and 3 out of 4. My take?, here's your blueprint, VOLS get to work!!

SummittsCourt writes:

Two words... Va...Cate!!

CrankE writes:

Alabama having trouble counting? This is my shocked face.

The NCAA will address this soon by imposing additional retroactive sanctions on Tennessee.

It's amusing to hear the smugness with which Saban has addresses the integrity issue. "We do everything right, we don't cheat, If I do that, then what right do I have to tell a kid to follow the rules, etc." Absolute twaddle from the Tuscaloosa Tornadoes.

The NCAA has had chances in the past to slam deserving programs with the death penalty, but just couldn't summon the spine to do it. Alabama was one of those who escaped the hangman's noose and they've literally gone on a spree. So long as you're winning, all is forgiven.

There is one name missing from this article though. Mike Slive. Where is the SEC commissioner on this issue? Mikey, you suspended Bruce Pearl for 8 SEC games for being ACCUSED of violating NCAA rules. Where's the quid quo here? Pearl hadn't even been sanctioned by the NCAA when you suspended him. The rules he was accused of violating weren't even conference rules-which means they're outside of your jurisdiction. Where's the sanctions against Saban, Mikey? Where's your respect for the NCAA rules now, Mikey? Come fine me you impotent little troll! Come at me.

The SEC office is Alabama's lapdog. They serve as a compliance clearinghouse and a laundromat for Alabama's misdeeds and a tool for wielding against their rivals.

OrangePride writes:

in response to CCLC:

There is a cap and it is 85. Right now Little Nicky is not in violation of anything. When the season starts he will be in compliance at 85. Of the current 95 man roster 4 are already gone. Three that mugged the student on campus and another for some check cashing problem. That leaves 6 not unlike Vandy. Bama has 4 fifth years that haven't lettered yet. They will be convinced to leave. That leaves two. Those two will probably have a medical problem.
just sayin'

Yes, I know the cap is 85 CCLC...but that cap is "85 by the opening of spring practice." You could have 185 in February, there is no set limit at that point. I was simply saying the NCAA, to avoid a team like Alabama stock-piling all the 5* guys "could" say something like it can only be 90 "at any time" on your college roster. And we all know Saban will do whatever to get the best 85 out of the 95, or I guess 91, he has right now. Whatever..... NS is operating within the rules, so we just have to go keep building and deal with what is.

davemanthevolfan writes:

What can you say? Cheaters cheat. Ya'll don't really think there is a coach or team that wins all the time. With all the restrictions the ncaa so called watchdogs have tried to even the playing field for all teams. Funny it seems to work except with certain teams in the SEC. Are you all so blind? Alabama cheats, they just do it better than most, or the SEC prefers to look the other way. Saban is not the coach everyone thinks he is. I would rather loose with honesty than win by cheating. It's not like Alabama hasn't been caught cheating before.

jhayes0926#638474 writes:

UT would do the same thing. We have, what, 4 greyshirts in this yr's class?

dvols writes:

why would a 18 yr old stud want to go live in tuscaloosa???

USC, Miami, Fla St, FL, UCLA, Notre Dame(chicago), LSU,

beaches and boobies!! is where I would go

Vols4Ever writes:

Alabama has streched the rules forever in the football program. Satan is running the program just like the business it always has been. He can coach but it sure helps when you recruit players beyond the limit and slide under the rules. He is a perfect fit with his lack of morals at the Tide.

Phil turning in Logan Young when he threw cash everywhere was just the tip of the iceberg.

CrankE writes:

in response to Vols4Ever:

Alabama has streched the rules forever in the football program. Satan is running the program just like the business it always has been. He can coach but it sure helps when you recruit players beyond the limit and slide under the rules. He is a perfect fit with his lack of morals at the Tide.

Phil turning in Logan Young when he threw cash everywhere was just the tip of the iceberg.

I was reminded recently that it was Spurrier who raised the flag there. Someone correct me if I have it wrong.

usafvol writes:

in response to NEVERBECONSERVATIVEWITHKNS:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Bet you have a Saban fathead strategically placed on your bedroom ceiling huh bammer?

emailnodata (Inactive) writes:

Scholarships are renewed each year, though I believe now you CAN offer for more.

If it comes down to it, some in-state senior simply gives up his scholarship....doesn't cost a fortune to go to Bama.

voloffaith writes:

in response to CCLC:

There is a cap and it is 85. Right now Little Nicky is not in violation of anything. When the season starts he will be in compliance at 85. Of the current 95 man roster 4 are already gone. Three that mugged the student on campus and another for some check cashing problem. That leaves 6 not unlike Vandy. Bama has 4 fifth years that haven't lettered yet. They will be convinced to leave. That leaves two. Those two will probably have a medical problem.
just sayin'

Does it feel strange ,when making your points, that you regurgitate what the article said about how they will get to 85? Just curious. You usually make opinions that are yours and not straight from the article.

On topic, does it really surprise us that saint(used loosely) Nick would do this? Yes, we are evidently as naive as he thinks us to be....

murrayvol writes:

in response to CCLC:

There is a cap and it is 85. Right now Little Nicky is not in violation of anything. When the season starts he will be in compliance at 85. Of the current 95 man roster 4 are already gone. Three that mugged the student on campus and another for some check cashing problem. That leaves 6 not unlike Vandy. Bama has 4 fifth years that haven't lettered yet. They will be convinced to leave. That leaves two. Those two will probably have a medical problem.
just sayin'

Or a personal problem.....whatever it takes.
just sayin'

murrayvol writes:

in response to dvols:

why would a 18 yr old stud want to go live in tuscaloosa???

USC, Miami, Fla St, FL, UCLA, Notre Dame(chicago), LSU,

beaches and boobies!! is where I would go

No offense but you're not NFL material.

OwensboroVol writes:

It stinks in that Spring Practice will be just like the NFL's Training Camp. It is clearly unfair to the Schools who actually obey the rule and do not skirt around it. What is to keep a team from signing all the players they can and then just cutting the worse during Spring Practice or Fall Training Camp?

GloryDays writes:

Sure it does, 4 members of their team are going to prison for assault. Every year you can count on several of their players being kicked off for drug use or being arrested.
Criminal Tide. Best thugs money can buy!

tgiles1944#654264 writes:

As we now live in a world of equality have no fear as OBAMA will be involved with the NCAA regarding an equal distribution of talent to make things fair for everyone in our society. It will be somewhat like what RUPP wanted to do in basketball with points for players of differnt heights being on the floor at one time to make things more even for all who play the game.

Orange_Beach writes:

in response to voloffaith:

Does it feel strange ,when making your points, that you regurgitate what the article said about how they will get to 85? Just curious. You usually make opinions that are yours and not straight from the article.

On topic, does it really surprise us that saint(used loosely) Nick would do this? Yes, we are evidently as naive as he thinks us to be....

I think what CCLC is doing is trying to make you hillbillies understand the rules as they are written instead of how a journalist interprets the rule. And it's called "Roster Management". If any of your last 4 coaches understood how it works the UT football program wouldn't be in shambles right now. Why do you think lil Butch only signed 21? Because nobody wants to go to UT.

voloffaith writes:

in response to Orange_Beach:

I think what CCLC is doing is trying to make you hillbillies understand the rules as they are written instead of how a journalist interprets the rule. And it's called "Roster Management". If any of your last 4 coaches understood how it works the UT football program wouldn't be in shambles right now. Why do you think lil Butch only signed 21? Because nobody wants to go to UT.

I will turn the other cheek since you feel slap happy this morning. Gator fan smacking me after roundball defeat. Again,he basically restated what the JOURNALIST said with no real variation.have you looked at the state of Tennessee and realize that there are areas that are not mountainous. If we are "hillbillies" then it is sad to think what...oh never mind I said I would turn the cheek(no not Jimmy Cheek)....GBO!!!

Olddogsrule writes:

Is Saban flagrantly ignoring the NCAA Bylaws?
I believe he is. Read this and all the sidebar links and decide for yourself.

http://www.ncaa.org/wps/wcm/connect/p...

Now, do these bylaws have any teeth? Are there penalties associated with oversigning, and what are they, and why is the NCAA not stepping in?

CoverOrange writes:

I thought the SEC outlawed oversigning a year or two ago.

volfaninutah writes:

Sure he oversigns. then he weeds them out. Sure it's negative publicity, but other SEC teams don't have the shot at the prime players that Bummer did. Take for instance, the four that just got kicked out of school. Bummer took them in the draft. They are now property of Bummer. Then their stupidity took over and they assaulted some students. They made it real easy for Saban to trim down his roster. Nobody else will touch these guys now because of the negative pub they would endure. Bear Bryant used to do the same thing. It looks like recruits could see thru this before they sign on the dotted line. If you're 6 deep in 5* running backs, do you really think you'll see the field? Saban plays off their competitive nature by saying they'll have a chance to compete, but realistically, they will ride the bench. As a recruit I would much rather go to a team where I could play right away and make a difference in changing the direction of a program. Riding the bench would really suck. But again, Saban makes it work. Somehow, they are able to skirt the rules and pad their bank of 5* players, but they came crashing to earth once before, and they can do it again. Hopefully it is soon.

whatthe84 writes:

The math doesn't add up unless you are counting crystal balls being hoisted in Tuscaloosa. If you count those his checkbook is in perfect balance.From what I read it only matters how many you have on the roster when fall camp begins, so from signing until then its not an issue with the NCAA. With the thugs being signed by all the teams now days you will likely have several not be around when fall camp begins so it would be to your advantage to have a little margin. These scholys are for one year at a time anyway when the NFL calls they will go when they are able anyway many don't bleed crimson or orange like the fans do its a business decision they say. I personally don't see a problem maybe CBJ will look at this tactic and it could help us. GBO!

volvann writes:

Karma works in mysterious ways... I remember when UT out recruited Bama and if we go back a few years, the Bama whiners and cryers were out in force. Bama even had alumni trying to sue the NCAA and UT several years back about recruiting. LMAO...

Next year CBJ will be able to sign more than 25 with the numbers UT has available, then watch the 'Tide' turn. It will take a few years, but the 'tide-whiners' will be out in full force. I am hoping that CBJ over-signs next year, but when UT does it, the NCAA and that Slive guy will be all over it. Also, ESPN will make it their daily reporting headline....

You heard it here first....
GoVols....

Orange_Beach writes:

in response to whatthe84:

The math doesn't add up unless you are counting crystal balls being hoisted in Tuscaloosa. If you count those his checkbook is in perfect balance.From what I read it only matters how many you have on the roster when fall camp begins, so from signing until then its not an issue with the NCAA. With the thugs being signed by all the teams now days you will likely have several not be around when fall camp begins so it would be to your advantage to have a little margin. These scholys are for one year at a time anyway when the NFL calls they will go when they are able anyway many don't bleed crimson or orange like the fans do its a business decision they say. I personally don't see a problem maybe CBJ will look at this tactic and it could help us. GBO!

You hit the nail on the head. There is a date that the roster is limitied to 85 players on scholarship. Roster management is an art that Saban has mastered within the rules, he signed 25 kids this year. Several SEC schools signed 30 or more. I think envy is why we're even talking about this.

Olddogsrule writes:

From the NCAA’s own site:
http://www.ncaa.org/wps/wcm/connect/p...

Here are the NCAA words that define the “spirit of the law” and why they passed legislation about oversigning: (ALL CAPS MINE FOR EMPHASIS)

“Division I recently addressed a concern involving the practice of oversigning. Programs were SIGNING MANY MORE THAN THE 25 PROSPECTIVE STUDENT-ATHLETES THEY ARE ALLOWED TO CARRY ON SCHOLARSHIPS FOR THE ENTERING CLASS. The oversigning was DONE IN ANTICIPATION that some of the RECRUITS would NOT QUALIFY ACADEMICALLY OR would DROP OUT FOR ANOTHER OTHER REASON.
Because the RULES LIMIT THE NUMBER of student-athletes ON SCHOLARSHIP, CURRENT OR PROSPECTIVE student-athletes COULD FIND THEIR SCHOLARSHIPS WERE NO LONGER AVAILABLE.”

There were prior rules defining oversigning that were being ignored.

1: The SIGNING LIMIT was 25, the MAXIMUM ALLOWED FOR THE ENTERING CLASS.

2. Programs anticipated attrition by: a) academics b) drop outs for other reasons (such as personal issues or team rules or trouble with the law) and c) current or prospective players would find scholarships no longer available.

So the NCAA wanted to stop these practices and addressed the concern of attrition by increasing the signees by three and:

“In January (OF 2012), the Division I Legislative Council approved legislation for Football Bowl Subdivision programs to specify an annual LIMIT OF 28 ON THE NUMBER OF PROSPECTIVE STUDENT-ATHLETES WHO MAY SIGN A NATIONAL LETTER OF INTENT or an institutional offer of financial aid from the initial signing date of the regular signing period of the National Letter of Intent (NSD) through May 31.”

Note that each of these issues is exactly what occurred at Alabama and other oversigning schools this year. None of the practices stopped. "c)" is “roster management” where scholarships are taken away because the oversigning coach picks and chooses who receives and from who will be taken away so he can evaluate who best fits his program, no matter how many years players have been with the program. A three star junior loses his scholly to a 4 or 5 star OVERSIGNED recruit, so increasing NLI’s from 25 to 28 only increased the problem. That is a two edged sword as oversigned 4 and 5 star recruits are removed from the available pool of recruits for other schools and defeats the NCAA's concept of "sportsmanship" and "level playing field" especially when coaches like Saban sign several high skill players each year, INTENTIONALLY oversigning.

I ask, was the “intent” to allow coaches to oversign so they can evaluate from NSD until May 31, which includes spring practice? Was it NCAA’s “intent” for programs to oversign, by say 10, so they can evaluate all new recruits against each other and current scholly players who are not producing as originally hoped then cut them out by May 31 to get their best team?

pcorange writes:

Saban is a yardbird in a sea of yardbirds. Trashy program, top to bottom. Always has been. We'll be back on top soon, and I have confidence that CBJ will do it the right way.

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