Remember last year when Alabama signed 32 recruits? Remember Internet controversialist Brian Cookâ€™s tirades against Nick Saban for the supposedly evil way Saban MIGHT treat players?
Cookâ€™s thesis was proven wrong. Alabama didnâ€™t run anyone off, and through normal attrition ended up rewarding walk-on players with scholarships. That hardly fits the portrayal of a Machiavellian football coach throwing players away. Walk-on players arenâ€™t the five-star recruits Saban supposedly was seeking at the expense of other less highly touted recruits.
But maybe there is a coach out there doing just what Cook worried about. That coach just might be Steve Spurrier. According to this report, it has been made clear â€œthat the non-starting rising seniors on the team are being encouraged to look for new programs.â€
Actually, that would be an overreaction. According to a running count at Gamecock Central.com, even with 26 verbal commitments the Gamecocks are still under the 85 cap. But that shouldn’t stop bloggers from imputing the worst possible motives to the South Carolina coach. Facts didn’t stop the crucifying of Saban. Why should facts matter now?
You should probably expect that again in 2009. Alabama likely will sign about 29 players this year. Several players will transfer due to reduced playing time. That is practically guaranteed.
Odds are Saban will catch heat for the transfers and the over-signing in 2009. But when doesn’t Saban catch heat?
Will Spurrier catch heat for encouraging non-starters out of his program?