Just to clarify

Just because you want something to be true, doesn’t make it true. MGOBLOG thinks the Bryant Scholarship is “hypothetical”, and shouldn’t apply to a recruit like Wesley Neighbors.

‘Bama either has a scam going or Michigan should institute the “Everyone Scholarship.” The ‘Bama bloggers are making much of this hypothetical “Bear Bryant scholarship” and how it will allow one of the incoming players in the class to not count against the 85 limit. If that’s true it’s a scam the NCAA should shut down. Think about it: it’s a scholarship for walk-ons. Uh… remind me of the definition of a walk-on again?

Everything is either a scam or suspicious, according to this guy.

The Bryant Scholarship is a general academic scholarship to help ANYONE male or female whose father played for Coach Paul W. Bryant. Athlete or non-athlete, it doesn’t matter. And the NCAA has specific legislation allowing this type of scholarship.

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Why? Because college is about getting a degree, not just football. Maybe our friend from Michigan should try to remember that.

Don’t trust me about the Bryant Scholarship? Rivals.com prepared this story on January 9:

According to the UA Athletic Department, the Bryant Scholarship is not considered a sports scholarship since the criteria of the scholarship are not based on athletics. It is awarded to any student (athlete or non-athlete, male or female) whose father played or coached for Coach Bryant. …

According to UA, if the player in question is a walk-on football player who was not recruited by UA’s coaches, that player will never count against Alabama’s scholarship numbers, even if he plays in every game for all four years.

If the player was a recruited walk-on, a student-athlete who was recruited by Alabama’s coaches and who receives the Bryant Scholarship, that player does not count against Alabama’s scholarship numbers until he sees playing time.

The NCAA makes the determination of whether or not a player should be considered “recruited”, and each individual player is judged on a case-by-case basis.

Neighbors was recruited by UA, and other schools. So, we can determine that NCAA rule 15.5.1.2 would apply here. It is possible he could use this scholarship in lieu of a regular football scholarship.

I want to explain here precisely why Alabama bloggers have focused on the Bryant Scholarship. To wit, Brian wrote this in a post Friday:

Anyone on scholarship and on the football team counts against the 85 limit.

That is patently false, according to NCAA rules. We’ve brought it up because you made a false assertion. It isn’t just some minor point—it is critical because it is one less over-signee.

And that is the point most bloggers have tried to make: You don’t know enough about the Alabama roster to make these allegations. There are other factors, which could mitigate any coldhearted plan to just kick players off the team.

One player is facing a serious robbery charge it was learned, as the Tuscaloosa News reported this morning.

Also, the article which started this whole debate (by Tim Gayle in the Montgomery Advertiser) doesn’t even state exactly how many players Alabama currently has on scholarship:

…Alabama signed just 22 players last year, Jackson and Smith can count against the 2007 class, leaving Saban with 30 players to fit into the 2008 class.

But those two signees boost Alabama’s overall total to approximately 85 players…

The KEY word here is APPROXIMATELY.

You don’t know how close to the 85 limit Alabama is because even this beat writer didn’t know precisely. Furthermore, when combined with medical disqualifications, academic disqualifications, grayshirting and Bryant Scholarships, there probably isn’t anything to talk about anyway.

In other words, much ado about nothing…